The report Who Watches the Watchmen? is released ahead of the RSPO Annual General Assembly on 16-19th November.
Research by EIA and its partner Grassroots say that the RSPO relies entirely on auditors to monitor the operations of palm oil growers and ensure they are not destroying primary forests and habitats or evicting communities.However, these auditing firms are in many cases failing to identify and mitigate unsustainable practices by oil palm firms.
Not only are they conducting alarmingly substandard assessments but evidence indicates that in some instances auditors actually collude with plantation companies to disguise violations of the RSPO Standard.
RSPO members due to meet for their 12th Annual General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur are strongly urges to salvage something of the organisation’s questionable reputation by supporting a resolution to ensure quality, oversight and the credibility of RSPO assessments.
According to a statement from EIA, “a steady stream of complaints made against RSPO members implicates auditors for conducting dodgy assessments and misrepresenting the reality on the ground. But although oil palm growers are to some extent held to account, the auditors consistently evade scrutiny.”