Compensation and Remediation
The Compensation and Remediation procedure was approved by the RSPO in November 2015, as the mechanism required for cases of land clearing for palm oil, without having carried out the High Compensation Values (AVC) studies.
RSPO member producers are required to carry out AVC assessments on their land for new farmings starting since November 2005. The objective is that the lands, under the RSPO producer's control, that contain or shelter AVCs are not cleared to plant palm after this date. Under the current P & C RSPO, these procedure does not apply to small independent producers.
Solidarity guides the producers and partner companies of the MAPA Program to improve their capacities in interpreting, diagnosing and preparing the required conceptual note based on an efficient management that allows making alliances with local organizations that are administrating the conservation areas and generating an investment plan to operate the conservation plans for 25 years.
It is a procedure generated by the Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil as the standard to follow for the certification of palm oil production, processing, and products. The RSPO certification is recognized by the global market. The goal is to make the RSPO standard the norm for the production and processing of palm oil fruit, so it applies to producers as well as to the beneficiation plants. It is a metric to measure the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the value chain. The verification is in charge of auditors belonging to a Certification Body accredited by the RSPO Secretariat.
The standard includes Principles and Criteria that are five-yearly reviewed in a participatory manner by all interested parties. The standard (2013-2017) is being revised and in November 2018, the new standard will be met. The standard integrates the compliance with the regulatory framework of the producer country as well as international agreements, this includes, for example, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and the Declaration of the International Labor Organization.
Solidaridad has promoted good practices and accompanied producers and companies to increase their capacities and close gaps to achieve productivity and certification in accordance with the RSPO standard. Transparency is essential in demonstrating materiality, monitoring tools for closing gaps, managing the implementation of good practices, etc.
THE GOAL IS MAKING THE RSPO STANDARD, THE NORM
FOR THE PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING OF PALM OIL FRUIT
The RSPO's biggest challenge is to certify the global critical mass of palm production. 40% of the global oil (more than 3 million small producers) is in the hands of small producers, but their yields per area are very low and they can not absorb the costs of the certification, so their lag is a reality. Solidaridad has promoted the Gap Closing Program in Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico with diagnostics, methodologies and field practices from producer to producer and bringing innovations to the those who need it.
At the same time, reinforcing the organization of small producers, administration and management of the crop as a small business or business. The inclusiveness of small producers in Latin America requires an impulse within a Win-Win business model in order to impact the progress of small producers and reduce environmental and social impacts.
Farm and field schools
In Latin America, more than 45,000 small producers have diversified their livelihoods including the production of palm oil fresh fruit on their farms or plots. Their yields are very low as well as their access to technologies and tools in this productive stratum. Technical assistance is urgent, without paternalism but with participation and commitment to sustainability. Solidarity and key partners in the sector promote the Field Schools using the language of the producer, with scale and inclusion, demonstrating that it is possible to have a vertical growth of productivity and profitability, better than continuing the expansion of the crop without good practices.
The field schools of the Solidarity Gap Closure Program are adapted to the agricultural calendar, the producer's schedule, their language and, above all, their own reality, mode of production and commercialization of the fruit. Growth parameters for productivity management are included, identifying the limiting factors and the solutions that are most pertinent to each case or group / Association/cooperative of Small producers. Peasant schools have been documented as the most effective way to adopt innovations in a way to the Producer's production mode, following the motto ... LEARNING BY DOING. The priority subject of the Field School is THE PRODUCER who in this dynamic shares, learns and diversifies his experiences in familiar environments.
It is becoming common to see a producer with a cell phone in hand, in Mesoamerica, there is an average of three cell phones per capita. Mobile technology is here to stay and more and more users are using tablets and smartphones. Every day increases the number of farmers who see this technology as the innovation that allows having better control of data coming from the different practices and resources that are handled in agriculture.
Solidarity in its Communication and Technology Information Program has explored and studied different programs and has begun adapting these technologies to producers of coffee, cocoa, palm oil, sugar, etc., adapting it to different production modes and cultures, all aligned in order to record and update key data (quantity and quality) that allows the decision making in an intelligent, fast and convenient manner. But also allow to identify and apply viable solutions within a menu of options, depending on the factors or identified problems.
The information or data taken from the field are stored in software designed by Solidaridad where information is processed according to the crop, which is emptied into blocks of content, once the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network or the Internet. The interlaced applications (field notebooks, solutions for cultivation, cost control, etc.) are engines that generate and process information to have better criteria and decision power.
Productive landscapes are increasingly affected by human interventions, whether agricultural, urban and industrial, and in each of them there are sustainability-limiting factors such as water management, soil, forests, biodiversity, labor and migration, conflict, security, etc. An Integrated Productive Sustainable Landscape management approach involves a holistic approach that goes beyond the fence of the farm and the good practices that are implemented in it. It is to identify and accept that the impacts of one affect others and those of these affect the farm. In addition, climate change and variability affect all without distinction of the area size, operation, productive unit, population, and culture.
Solidarity as part of its strategic axes of operations, in addition to the voluntary sustainability standards that are developed in crops such as sugar, palm oil, cocoa, etc., implements the PASOS-Integrated Sustainable Landscape Management Program in Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as conducts surveys with key stakeholders in Guatemala and Mexico, integrating technologies and efforts of interested parties operating in pre-selected jurisdictions or regions. PASOS is a dialogue and intervention platform with multiple actors that aims to improve the function and management of the landscape in the region of interest.