Marking the success or end of global multi-stakeholder governance? The rise of national sustainability standards in Indonesia and Brazil for palm oil and soy
- 2.4k Downloads
The RSPO and RTRS are global private partnerships that have been set up by business and civil society actors from the North to curb de-forestation and to promote sustainable production of palm oil or soy in the South. This article is about the launch of new national standards in Indonesia and Brazil that are look-alikes of the global standards but have been set up and supported by government or business actors from the South. The two main questions of this article are: do the new national standards in Indonesia and Brazil provide a fundamental challenge to the RSPO and RTRS, or do they demonstrate the successful diffusion and adoption of global private rules into national contexts? Do the new national standards help or undermine the RSPO and RTRS in their efforts to reduce de-forestation? Combining the theoretical notions of proto-institution and rival governance network, a comparative analysis is offered of the launch of the new national standards in Indonesia and Brazil. The conclusion is that, whilst the RSPO and RTRS have served as models for the general design and principles of the national standards, they really differ from the global standards in terms of normative contents: the national standards offer more room to palm oil plantations and large-scale soy producers to expand production at the expense of forests and other high conservation areas. Governments and producer associations in Indonesia and Brazil have not launched national standards to implement the RSPO or RTRS but to challenge these interventions from the North.
KeywordsGlobal private partnership RSPO RTRS National standards Proto-institution Rival governance network
Free prior and informed consent
Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (Association of Indonesian palm oil plantation companies)
Indonesian palm oil commission
Indonesian sustainable palm oil
Roundtable on sustainable palm oil
Roundtable on responsible soy
World wildlife fund
- ABIOVE. 2010a. Entities launch a management and rural property certification program for Brazilian soybeans. Press release. http://www.abiove.com.br/english/sustent/sojaplus_pressrelease_us_maio10.pdf. Accessed December 2012.
- ABIOVE. 2010b. Soja Plus program: Environmental & social management program for Brazilian soybeans. http://www.abiove.com.br/english/sustent/sojaplus_apresenta_us_maio10.pdf. Accessed December 2012.
- ABIOVE. 2010c. Soja Plus: Environmental and social management program for Brazilian soybeans. http://www.abiove.com.br/english/sustent/sojaplus_folder_us_maio10.pdf. Accessed December 2012.
- Agroasia. 2011. RSPO, ISPO can be a synergy. RSPO Special report, p. 54–55.Google Scholar
- Cheyns, E. 2011. Multi-stakeholder initiatives for sustainable agriculture: Limits of the ‘inclusiveness’ paradigm. In Governing through standards: Origins, drivers and limitations, eds. S. Ponte, S., P. Gibbon and J. Vestergaard, 210–235. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
- de Man, R. and J. Juranics. 2002. Minutes of the preparatory meeting on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Hayes, London. http://www.rdeman.nl/site/download/minutes-s.pdf. Accessed November 2012.
- de Pooter, S. 2008. Roundtables as new forms of private governance: Understanding the emergence, dynamics and evolution of roundtables. Master thesis, Wageningen University.Google Scholar
- Forest Peoples Programme. Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). http://www.forestpeoples.org/guiding-principles/free-prior-and-informed-consent-fpic. Accessed October 2013.
- GAPKI. 2013. About GAPKI. http://www.gapki.or.id/Page/About. Accessed October 2013.
- Glasbergen, P. 2008. Mondiale partnerships en collective active. Bestuurskunde 17: 15–25.Google Scholar
- Goldsmith, P. 2008. Soybean production and processing in Brazil. In Soybeans: Chemistry, production, processing and utilization, ed. L. Johnson, P. White, and R. Galloway, 773–798. Champaign: AOCS Press.Google Scholar
- Hospes, O. 2011a. Private law making at the roundtable on sustainable palm oil. In Private food law: Governing food chains through contract law, self-regulation, private standards, audits and certification schemes, ed. B. Van der Meulen, 187–201. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Hospes, O. 2011b. Besturen tussen globale en nationale schaal. Bestuurskunde 4: 38–47.Google Scholar
- Hospes, O., S. Stattman and S. de Pooter. 2009. Groen en geel zien: Private partnerschappen voor duurzame productie van soja en palmolie. In Governance in de groen-blauwe ruimte: handelingsperspectieven voor landbouw, landschap en water. eds. Breeman, G., H. Goverde en K. Termeer, 242–258. Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
- Hospes, O., O. van der Valk, and J. Mheen-Sluijer. 2012. Parallel development of five partnerships to promote sustainable soy in Brazil: solution or part of wicked problems? International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 15B: 39–62.Google Scholar
- Hospes, O., and A. Kentin. 2014. Tensions between global-scale and national-scale governance: The strategic use of scale frames to promote sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia. In Scale-sensitive governance of the environment, ed. F. Padt, N. Polman, and K. Termeer, 203–219. Oxford: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Indonesian Palm Oil Commission (IPOC). 2011. The introduction of the ISPO: towards sustainable palm oil 2011. Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia.Google Scholar
- Kentin, A. 2012. Scale frames, the RSPO and GAPKI: Development of principles and partnerships to promote sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. Master thesis, Wageningen University.Google Scholar
- Lubis, A.M. 2013. More companies obtain sustainable certification. Jakarta Post. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/08/21/more-companies-obtain-sustainable-certification.html. Accessed October 2013.
- Mayer, F., and G. Gereffi. 2010. Regulation and economic globalization: Prospects and limits of private governance. Business and Politics 12(3): Article 11.Google Scholar
- OECD. 2012. OECD review of agricultural policies: Indonesia 2012. OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
- Peters, N. 2010. Inter-organisational design of voluntary sustainability initiatives: Increasing the legitimacy of sustainability strategies for supply chains. PhD dissertation. University of Sint Gallen. Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden.Google Scholar
- Reineke, J., S. Manning, and O. von Hagen. 2012. The emergence of a standards market: Multiplicity of sustainability standards in the global coffee industry. Organization Studies 33(5/6): 789–812.Google Scholar
- Riisgaard, L. 2009. How the market for standards shapes competition in the market for goods: Sustainability standards in the cut flower industry. DIIS working paper no. 7.Google Scholar
- Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS). 2007. Minutes of the First General Assembly of the RTRS. Electronic version received from D. de Morrée, Cordaid officer, on March 19th of 2010.Google Scholar
- Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS). 2009. RTRS Principles and Criteria for Responsible Soy: Field Testing Version.Google Scholar
- Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS). 2010. RTRS Principles and Criteria for Responsible Soy Version 1.0. http://www.responsiblesoy.org/index.php?lang=en. Accessed December 2012.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2007. RSPO principles and criteria for sustainable palm oil production. http://www.rspo.org/files/resource_centre/RSPO%20Principles%20&%20Criteria%20Document.pdf. Accessed December 2012.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2008. National interpretation of RSPO principles and criteria for sustainable palm oil production. Republic of Indonesia. Indonesian National Interpretation Working Group. http://www.rspo.org/file/PDF/RSPO_national%20interpretation/ghana/indonesia/NI_INANIWG_Final_English_May2008_ver01.pdf. Accessed December 2012.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2012a. Principles and criteria certification: Implementation and interpretation of the principles & criteria. http://www.rspo.org/en/principles_and_criteria_certification. Accessed October 2013.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2012b. Smallholders task force. http://www.rspo.org/en/smallholders_task_force. Accessed December 2012.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2013a. Adoption of principles and criteria for the production of sustainable palm oil. http://www.rspo.org/file/revisedPandC2013.pdf. Accessed October 2013.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. 2013b. Certified grower. http://www.rspo.org/file/CertifiedGrowerMay2013.pdf. Accessed October 2013.
- Suharto, R. 2010. Why Indonesia needs ISPO. The Jakarta Post, Supplement, December 2. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/02/why-indonesia-needs-ispo.html. Accessed October 2013.
- Suharto, R. 2013. Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil: Challenges in its implementation across all types of growers in Indonesia. Presentation at the 5th Palm Oil Summit on “Sustainable Yield Intensification and Maximising Productivity.” Jakarta, August 2013.Google Scholar
- Tropis magazine on economy and environment. November 2011. Special edition entitled ‘Why GAPKI must quit RSPO’.Google Scholar
- World Wildlife Fund. 2007. High conservation value forests: The concept in theory and practice. http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/hcvf_brochure_012007.pdf. Accessed October 2013.