Goldtree Mill and Independent Smallholders Attain Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in Sierra Leone
SIERRA LEONE, October 13, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Goldtree S.L. Ltd is happy to announce that, as of the 13th of July, our operations have achieved certification to the acclaimed Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from internationally recognized third-party certification body SCS Global Services (SCS). This means that Goldtree can offer palm oil products that are officially certified under the standards of the RSPO. By adhering to these standards, Goldtree demonstrates that our palm oil addresses various aspects of sustainability, including the protection and enhancement of the natural ecosystems our plantations are located in, as well as protecting the human rights of the local communities we work with, while operating our business in an ethical and transparent manner.
Additionally, 4,983 smallholder farmers, who are members of the Ngoyaï Gbaayegie Farmer Based Organisation FBO) that supply Goldtree with Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) used in the production of our palm oil products, also achieved RSPO certification. The total certified area covers 8,667 hectares. These smallholders have attained certification according to RSPO’s newest standards, having achieved Milestone B of the ‘RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard’. The Ngoyaï Gbaayegie Farmer Based Organisation is the first group of independent smallholders in Africa to achieve this; they are also the largest group of independent smallholders worldwide - according to the number of members and area covered - to be currently certified at this level.
Marie Rosine Njomgang Motuo Epse Nsegbe, Sustainability Manager of Goldtree “As group manager of the Ngoyaï Gbaayegie Farmer Based Organisation (FBO), it has been a pleasure to work hand in hand with the smallholders, I see every day how their practices and lives are being improved. Even those farmers, who may have been at a disadvantage, the elderly, the widowed and the youth are developing their farms through Good Agricultural Practices, and they are excited to achieve this progress. It has been amazing for me and all of the group, we are happy for this achievement, and we will work together to maintain this high standard that has been reached.”
Smallholders are farmers that grow oil palm, in which the majority of labour comes from the family owning the farm, and this supplies the majority of their income. Smallholders account for around 40% of total global palm oil production, so they are an integral aspect towards a totally sustainable oil palm industry.
“SCS is proud to pioneer RSPO Principles & Criteria certification in Africa for Goldtree’s audit in collaboration with the most qualified local auditors,” said Adriana Cala, SCS Global Services’ Technical Manager of RSPO Principles & Criteria Program. “As the first group of smallholders in Africa and the largest worldwide to be certified, Goldtree is paving the way as a genuine leader in social and environmental responsibility. Third-party certification is the only impartial way to demonstrate sustainable operations for palm plantations.”
Goldtree S.L. Ltd has always been committed to ensuring all our palm oil products are produced in a sustainable way, and that our business operations also reflect this; achieving this RSPO certification demonstrates that we believe in this business principle. Alongside this, we will also continue to ensure that our business is one of prosperity for all those involved - the palm oil industry, the local farmers and suppliers, and the natural environment in which we operate.
Goldtree’s operations are located near Daru in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone and consists of a palm oil mill, with the capacity to process around 20 tonnes of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) per hour, with the main product from the mill being certified sustainable palm oil. For more information about Goldtree, visit https://www.goldtreeholdings.com.
Eric Senesei – the spokesperson for the Ngoyaï Gbaayegie FBO – expresses his excitement for having become RSPO certified. Farmers in the Ngoyaï Gbaayegie FBO have welcomed the RSPO’s presence, having provided training for better harvesting methods, allowing for their production rate to increase rapidly. While many of the farmers in this FBO were already applying Good Agricultural Practices on their farms, Mr. Senesei expresses his happiness and excitement that they have been recognised and certified by the RSPO.
About SCS Global Services
Founded in 1984, SCS Global Services is a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability veriﬁcation, certiﬁcation, auditing, testing, and standards development. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in natural resource management, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, supply chains, climate mitigation and more. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has representatives and affiliate offices throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. Its broad network of auditors are experts in their fields, and the company is a trusted partner to companies, agencies and advocacy organizations due to its dedication to quality and professionalism. SCS is a chartered Beneﬁt Corporation, reﬂecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. For more information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com. For more information about RSPO Principles & Criteria Certification, visit https://www.scsglobalservices.com/services/rspo-principles-and-criteria-pc-certification.
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Kalindi Lorenzo Kalindi@plantingnaturals.com