Norway endorses Amsterdam Palm Oil Declaration

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared governmental support to the Commitment to Support 100% Sustainable Palm Oil in Europe today at the Oslo REDD Exchange by signing the Amsterdam Palm Oil Declaration.

The Commitment was instigated by IDH and MVO’s European Sustainable Palm Oil, or ESPO, project in December 2015.

In her opening speech at the conference, the Norwegian Prime Minister confirmed that Norway is endorsing the Amsterdam declarations on delinking deforestation from the production and supply of agricultural commodities to Europe, with a particular focus on palm oil. In this way, Norway supports the efforts of the private sector to delink deforestation from their supply chains, and to ensure fully sustainable palm oil supply chains by 2020.

The Norwegian food industry, through the Norwegian Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil (NISPO), as well as the feed industry in Norway have decided to also support the Commitment, and in this way contribute to the efforts of the private sector to remove deforestation from their supply chains, and to ensure fully sustainable palm oil supply chains by 2020. “Signing helps support the work taking place in Europe to drive the development of sustainable palm oil. We take responsibility beyond Norway”, says Dag Kjetil Øyna, head of secretariat for the NISPO.

Joined forces

European private sector organizations joined forces for the first time in December 2015 to ensure a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain in Europe by 2020 by signing the Commitment. In response, the governments of five key European Union countries declared their support towards the project by signing the Amsterdam Palm Oil Declaration during the EU and Global Value Chains’ high-level conference on 7th December 2015. This was the first time that different countries in Europe spoke with one voice with regards to sustainable palm oil. Today Norway adds its name to this list.

To drive the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative and MVO (The Netherlands Oils and Fats Industry) established the European Sustainable Palm Oil project in 2015. The project was initiated to stimulate the uptake of more sustainable palm oil in Europe, and will continue to support national initiatives working on sustainable palm oil. 

In close collaboration with the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA), IDH and MVO work together with various national palm oil initiatives, mainstream palm oil certification bodies such as RSPO and the umbrella EU associations, such as CAOBISCO (confectionary), FEDIOL (fats and oils) and IMACE (margarines).

Both EPOA and ESPO highly appreciate the support of the Norwegian government.

EPOA-chair and MVO-managing director Frans Claassen said: “We very much welcome the support of the Norwegian government and industry. By increasing engagement with our partners and allies, defining a coordinated approach in Europe,  we are amplifying the outreach and effectiveness on the commitment and the monitoring regarding sustainable palm oil.

Joost Oorthuizen, executive director at IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, said: “It is very encouraging that now the Norwegian government joins the movement towards the use of sustainable palm oil. Palm oil production must be sustainable in order to stop deforestation, peat and forest fires and haze. Europe is the second largest importer of palm oil in the world, and an harmonized approach will accelerate and upscale the use of sustainable palm oil in Europe and act as an example for other regions.”