The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) had created a lifeline between partners who have had no contact before, said Fiona Wheatley, Marks & Spencer’s sustainable development manager.
As a result of the RSPO, the palm oil chain was understood better than ever, she said. However, she claimed there were weaknesses in the standard, which were forcing some companies and brands to look for alternative partnerships, she said.
“We need to make sure that we have a stronger standard that makes sure people don’t need to go anywhere else. Collaboration is difficult and involves having disparate views and differing opinions and one of the great strengths of the RSPO is to convene different opinions.
“But we sometimes need those different opinions and a bit of violent endangerment to keep things moving and keep the peace and the focus and aspiration high,” she said.