Two weeks ago, the Palmoil.io team attended our first RSPO Conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What an exciting experience to be able to connect with people in person, which was definitely everyone’s highlight. Palmoil.io started during the pandemic, which meant every interaction we've had has been online through Zoom, or LinkedIn, so to finally be engaging with people over a cup of coffee was a refreshing change.
Palmoil.io at the RT2022 Exhibition
At the exhibition, the team came prepared to dazzle with a huge, pink, palm tree, designed not to be missed by any passerby. It even caught the eye of Joseph (JD) D’Cruz, Chief Executive Officer, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), who came to congratulate the team.
From the many conversations the team had with attendees, the upcoming EU Regulation on deforestation-free supply chains perhaps loomed the largest. The Regulation requires companies to conduct due diligence on all suppliers and trace deforestation to each plantation. At our booth, we demonstrated to attendees how Palmoil.io can help screen suppliers, identify high risk mills and concessions, and prioritize areas for smallholder engagement.
Scaling monitoring across landscapes
The discussion on jurisdictional approach also caught our attention. There is a growing need to analyze jurisdictions such as districts, provinces, and villages for palm oil-related deforestation and and other risks. We showed attendees how Palmoil.io subscribers can use our data to identify landscapes, focus their research and field investigations, and gain a broad understanding of the major actors and risks in a landscape.
Palm oil is about people
Human rights were a major issue at the RSPO conference. This is something that Palmoil.io takes seriously, particularly as we establish a team in Indonesia. Sometimes the human experience gets lost in the data and statistics, and social impacts are not visible from maps. But as nothing can separate any issue from the voices of those affected, and palm oil will always be connected with humanity, it’s our responsibility to make sure that it doesn't get lost in translation. With this in mind, we are going to think hard about how Palmoil.io can better reflect the human element of palm oil supply chains.
Palmoil.io tests RSPO members with Palm Oil Quiz!
Throughout the conference, Palmoil.io held a Palm Oil Quiz for everybody who came by our booth. Despite the challenging questions, many participants were eager to test their knowledge on the subject. After three days, three people emerged as victors. Congratulations to Ruben Brunsveld, Nizar Wicaksono and Futuha Sara who won the limited edition Palmoil.io t-shirts and thank you to everybody who participated. If you would like to take the quiz yourself and share it amongst your colleagues, feel free to do so here https://rt2022quiz.palmoil.io/. We will post the answers in next week's newsletter.
Now the work begins
The team thoroughly enjoyed our first conference and appreciated the RSPO's willingness to not only listen but also present critical views. This really shows the strength of the RSPO's multi-stakeholder approach.
Now that the conference has piqued the ingenuity and creativity of the Palmoil.io team, what next? We are taking all of the ideas and feedback that we received and finding ways of turning ideas and suggestions into code and new features. We will be announcing the fruits of labors in 2023. Time to get back to work! See you on the next adventure.