GHANA – Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation (GSOPP), an alternative livelihood project of Golden Star resources, now a member of the Chifeng Gold Group, has primed its smallholder farmers for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) Certification.
The highly coveted certification which is the first of its kind in Ghana and second in Africa, signifies that GSOPP smallholder farmers are equipped with best management practices to improve their yields and produce oil palm sustainably and safely according to globally accepted standards.
“We are extremely proud of the GSOPP team for committing to the rigorous requirements of RSPO to gain this certification.
“As we have indicated since the acquisition of Golden Star in January 2022, ESG is our focus, and certification such as this prove our commitment to the business, our communities and our stakeholders,” Mr. Shaddrack Adjetey Sowah, Vice President and Managing Director of Golden Star Wassa Ltd explained.
The RSPO was established in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through global standards and multi-stakeholder governance.
With support from Solidaridad and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), GSOPP was able to take its farmers through trainings to broaden their scope on oil palm best management practices, sustainable group management, business planning, environmental protection, safe working relationships and continuous improvement.
GSOPP was established in April 2006 as a non-profit subsidiary of Golden Star. GSOPP, in partnership with the traditional authorities, and affected farmers, with the support of the agro-forestry industry, promotes the development of oil palm plantations amongst Golden Star’s catchment communities, using the smallholder concept.
Through GSOPP, Golden Star Resources continues to advance the business objective of reducing poverty through employment generation, and promoting wealth creation through sustainable agri-business.
Funded by Golden Star through US$1 per ounce of gold produced, to date over U.S$ 9.6million has been directed to this important initiative, according to Ghanaian Times.
The impact of the project is reflected in Royal Gold’s commitment to provide financial support for the activities of GSOPP through an annual contribution of U.S$ 150,000 over five years.
For Production, GSOPP yields 18 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare, compared to a National average of 6 tonnes per hectare.
RSPO this month initiated its five-year review cycle of the 2018 RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) and the review of the 2019 RSPO Independent Smallholder Standard.
The review task force will explore the development of standard requirements applicable to medium growers and Scheme Smallholders.
Apart from reviewing the standard applicable to the production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) and Certified Fresh Fruit Bunch (CFFB), this process also aims to make recommendations on which elements of the revised P&C should be applied to non-grower RSPO members as part of their shared responsibility to promote sustainable palm oil.
The objective of this process is to review and streamline the production standard to ensure continued relevance and effectiveness in demonstrating that palm oil produced and sold as RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is credible and inclusive.