It is the third company in Latin America to receive the certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
RSPO Next is a voluntary add-on for palm oil suppliers.
Agroaceite is located in southwest Guatemala and has a manufacturing capacity of 25 metric tons per hour. It became Rainforest Alliance certified in 2013 and 100% of its production is RSPO certified.
IBD Certifications audited Agroaceite, verifying its compliance with the 149 indicators and eight established principles that ensure palm oil is produced to RSPO Next standards.
Francisco Naranjo, director of RSPO in Latin America, said: "Agroaceite has shown the impacts that we are looking for, which are related to improving the general well-being of stakeholders who are involved in the business. Agroaceite is an example not only in Guatemala but worldwide in its productivity."
Both Agroaceite and its sister company Agrocaribe are both RSPO members. They are part of Agroamerica, which is in the process of applying for RSPO group membership that will cover all of its company subsidiaries.
Slow uptake of RSPO Next...
Agroaceite’s adoption of RSPO Next standards makes it the fourth company in the world to do so.
According to Yasmina Neustadtl, outreach and engagement manager at RSPO Latin America, this limited uptake may be due to the two-year review process of the organization’s previous standard.
The RSPO principles and criteria (P&C) are a set of environmental and social requirements palm oil producers must adhere to in order to meet the RSPO certification standard that are reviewed every five years.
The P&C 2013 were updated last year to become P&C 2018, strengthening social development, economic prosperity and environmental protections across the palm oil value chain, RSPO said.
“The market was attentive to see how new tendencies on zero deforestation, labor rights, no planting on peat etc. would be incorporated into the new P&C 2018 standard," Neustadtl said.
“Now, the P&C 2018 incorporates all these elements, which were previously considered part of the RSPO Next standard. This could be a reason why the market has not been so active the past two years in buying RSPO Next credits.”
...but increasing interest in LATAM
However, she said interest in sustainable certification is growing among Latin American palm oil producers.
“The most demand for RSPO certification, in general, is coming from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ecuador,” said Neustadtl. “We see an increasing interest in Mexico and for supply chain players and increasing interest in Chile.”