Olam Achieves Second RSPO Certification for Palm Oil Plantations in Gabon

Olam Palm Gabon (OPG) has reached the next milestone in its development of sustainable palm oil productions, achieving Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification for the Bilala palm oil mill and concessions in Mouila, Gabon.

Its the second of two plantations managed by the OPG to be certified, and covers 15,900 hectares (ha) of planted oil palm, and 19,500 ha of protected High Conservation Value areas.

In October 2016, the 20,000 ha Awala concession with 6,800 ha of plantation and mill, became the first ever new development in Africa to achieve RSPO certification. Together the certified areas total 55,400 ha.

In addition, Olam has two remaining  lots comprising 27,300 ha of planted palm and protection of 36,600 ha of high Conservation Value forest and Savannah. These are on the target to achieve RSPO certification by 2021.

Datuk Darrel Webber, CEO of RSPO, said, “Oil palm is native to Africa and when grown sustainably, it is the best solution to balance the competing demands of people, profit, and the environment. This hard-won certification shows that RSPO members such as Olam continue to represent the gold standard for sustainable palm oil in Africa.”

Ranveer Chauhan, Managing Director of Oil Palm and Natural Rubber, Olam International, said, “Certified palm oil accounts for about 19% of global volumes, with Europe leading the way, and we expect other regions to start following suit. Achieving the certification was not easy – and nor should it be – we are proud of the environmental standards we have achieved, the jobs we have created (more than 7,700 Gabonese) and wider social benefits created for the village communities around the plantations.”

Progress on risk assessment of third party mills and launch of new Palm Dashboard

Olam also reports continued progress on its roadmap for 100% traceability for its third party supply base and verification by 2020. All suppliers are expected to uphold the Olam Sustainable Palm Oil Policy and must also implement full compliance to the Olam Supplier Code, to RSPO or to a Code that is equivalent to the OSC and approved by Olam

As at the end of 2017, close to 1,600 indirect mills have been analysed from 14 suppliers, up from about 1,100 mills at the end of July 2017. The work to assess the risk profile of indirect suppliers’ mills – including past and future risks linked to deforestation – is being undertaken by the World Resources Institute and the Proforest Group. By the end of Q2, 2017, 86% of the crude palm oil and palm kernel oil volumes were successfully traced using GPS co-ordinates, with 100% of derivatives traced.

As at the end of 2017, close to 1,600 indirect mills have been analysed from 14 suppliers, up from about 1,100 mills at the end of July 2017. The work to assess the risk profile of indirect suppliers’ mills – including past and future risks linked to deforestation – is being undertaken by the World Resources Institute and The Proforest Group. By the end of Q2, 2017, 86% of crude palm oil and palm kernel oil volumes were successfully traced using GPS co-ordinates, with 100% of derivatives traced.

On September 12 2017, Olam Nigeria launched a $150m Hatchery, Feed Mill & Breeder Farm in Kaduna that has the capacity to hatch 1.6m day old chicks and 50,000 tonnes of on site storage facility to address the challenges of Storage and Processing the Agriculture Industry in Nigeria has had for many years.

 

Kelvin Emmanuel

About Kelvin Emmanuel

The Oil producing Angola in the Southern part of Africa faces what Nigeria faced 12months ago; a distortion in its exchange rate with a difference between the official markets and the parallel black markets. One dollar through the official window buys you 166 kwanza, while one dollar through the black market buys you 400 kwanza. Nigeria faced the same challenge 12months ago, when the distortion between the official and black markets was as much as the official markets trading at 306 with the parallel market ranging from 450 through to 510. The Central Bank Governor of Angola, Jose de Massano Junior announced in Luanda “We will stop having a fixed foreign exchange, we will adopt a floating regime of foreign exchange”. Angola faces exactly the same challenges and has been applying the exact same responses to an exchange rate crisis like using its foreign reserves that was sitting at $26bn to defend the currency kwanza, with no success so far, even though the external reserves has dropped to $14bn. Angola relies on Oil receipts for 80% of its government revenue, 90% of its inflow and 50% of its GDP. Angola is a $194bn economy that has been growing at an average of 10% on the back of rising oil prices since 2002 when its 27 year old civil war that started in 1975 ended. The state national oil company Sonangol reports that it produces up to 1.8m barrels of crude oil daily, however the government that until now has being led by the family dynasty Jose Eduardo dos Santos until recently when succession saw power transferred to Joao Lourenco, reports that the oil price rout in 2015/2016 that saw prices drop to as low as $28 per barrel caused ripples across the economic structures of the government, upsetting government revenues, its ability to fund its budget, capital project funding, foreign direct investments into the economy as a result of a currency crisis that was driven by the widening of gap between the official and street window of the kwanza, that until now has been pegged in a fixed exchange rate regime to the US Dollar.