The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the international non-profit sustainable palm oil association, announced in May that RSPO-certified palm oil production facilities produced their five-millionth tonne of certified sustainable palm oil. It also revealed that 9% of the world’s palm oil production was now certified.

The RSPO launched its certified sustainable palm oil logo last November and now plans launch the label to distinguish certified products on retail shelves. However, it faced criticism from member company New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL), which said a huge injection of its sustainably certified segregated palm oil (CSPO) into Europe could spell the demise of RSPO’s Green Palm certification system there.

NBPOL and Wilmar International announced on May 10 they had agreed to set up an integrated supply chain and joint marketing agreement for Continental Europe to supply full traceable and segregated palm oil from NBPOL’s RSPO-certified plantations in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Executive director of NBPOL Alan Chaytor said many industry players view green certificates with a great deal of suspicion if purchasing them has any effect on making the palm oil industry sustainable. Wilmar added that food manufacturers have said for a long time that it has been difficult to source many palm oil products needed in a sustainable format.

General manager of GreenPalm Bob Norman hit back and said the comments by NBPOL were not in the spirit of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).”NBPOL is a registered certificate owner under the GreenPalm scheme, which makes the company’s remarks all the more surprising,” he said.

The RSPO said in May that it took one full year to pass the first million tonne milestone in August 2009. “The ten million tonnes mark is in sight for the end of this year. Sales of sustainable palm oil continue to increase and March 2011 shattered previous records with over 269,000 tonnes of sustainable palm oil (or corresponding certificates) sold by RSPO-certified mills,” The RSPO said.