SHARP event at RSPO RT in Bangkok

At the recent RSPO RT 14 SHARP Partners Olam, Sime Darby and Proforest co-hosted a side event to present and publicise SHARP tools, and discuss the business case for their use in Palm Oil smallholder engagement. The SHARP Secretariat presented the RSS framework and field guides. Field experience from Honduras and plans for scale up in Indonesia were discussed by SHARP Regional Focal Points SNV and Proforest. The event was well attended, with representatives from several major palm oil production and trading companies and end users who contributed questions and comments from the floor.

The work referenced in Honduras included use of the RSS framework as a step-wise approach to smallholder certification and adoption of the simplified precautionary practices approach for smallholder management of HCVs. Here Proforest has recently field tested a prototype app and dashboard to support Group Managers understand and assess risks to HCVs.

In the Jambi Province of Sumatra, SNV are integrating RSS in their work on inclusive and sustainable supply chain development under the auspices of the Berbak Green Prosperity Partnership. They have developed excellent training materials and in house capacity in response to smallholder needs for support on better management practices. They are also working on access to finance for smallholders needing to replant aging plantations of palm oil.

The instrumental costs and benefits that determine the business case for RSS were examined. Participants discussed the potential for RSS can add value by,

  • Improving the cost benefit ratio through systematic assessment of risk and needs,
  • Rational prioritisation of effort,
  • Streamlining business to business communication
  • Building relationships between smallholders and their buyers to reducing transaction costs for engagement

The meeting also touched on the renewed interest in RSS as an entry point for certification. There was discussion of the price premiums on certified product that might produce a financial return on investment in RSS and certification. Two examples, based on real-life cash flow projections, were used to illustrate different scenarios and indicate the break-even point given different levels of price premium.

Presentations from the event can be at the following links:

RSS lessons learned & business case in palm oil sector

SNV Berbak Green Prosperity Partnership - Implementing deforestation free supply chains

Mobile app and dashboard field trial in Honduras