Deforestation caused by many palm-oil producers, harming wildlife habitats, has been a widespread concern around the world. However, more and more palm oil is now being sourced sustainably with a help of the certification initiative promoted by a non-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Natural Habitats as 100% organic and sustainable producer was certified with RSPO standard in 2013.
In May 2013, Natural Habitats in Ecuador (Exportsustent) together with Solidaridad and National Association of Oil Palm Growers (ANCUPA) developed a pioneering project Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador. This two years initiative was started with a great ambition to accelerate the sustainable production of palm oil in the country through trainings in good agriculture practices and RSPO principles. Two objectives were set for this project:
RSPO Assessment: compliance and audit of 93 farmers by Exportsustent and Palma Organica.
Training of 780 smallholder farmers provided by ANCUPA.The first objective of the project has been exceeded. To this point, 98 farmers have been RSPO certified in 3916,13 ha. A group of 21 farmers in 850 ha is ready for certification and a new audit is scheduled for September 15th, 2015. This brings a total of 119 farmers in 4766,13 ha complying with the RSPO standards.