Why finding the right partner is essential to become RSPO certified right first time

When you need a RSPO certification you want a smooth certification process without any obstacles. In this process it’s all about the value that the certification body can deliver to you, because there are many certification bodies you can choose; mini certification bodies, 30+ certification bodies etc. but every certification body is in the same credential. In terms of credentials there is no reference so whatsoever. In this blog you will read why it is essential to find the right partner and which aspects are important to look at.

What the process of becoming RSPO certified looks like

Before we get into which aspects you should look for in a certification body, it is important for you to know what the RSPO certification process (in most cases) looks like;

  1. The first thing you need to arrange is a RSPO membership as you need to validate if you need a certification or not. If you handle very small volumes you may defined as micro-users and would not need to actually be RSPO certified. If you’re a trader and handle small volumes you can get a trader license. This is something that is established after the RSPO membership, but they are related.
  2. Accreditation. When you have established that the certification body is accredited, you need to look into where the certification body operates in and if they can support you in your local market.
  3. Establish if the certification body has qualified people in place.
  4. Who does the certification body serve? If it’s possible, look into which companies the certification body serves. If they serve big brands like Nestle or Pepsico, you can assume they have the right expertise in place.
  5. Look into the cost. It’s important to know which price the certification body charges and if this is in line with your budget.
  6. Contracting. This all comes down to the final agreement to proceed in the process to become RSPO certified.
  7. After the contracting, the certification body gets in touch to plan the audit. It is important that the certification body knows when you need to have the audit so the certifiers can complete the audit on time to ensure you won’t be there without a certificate. So you can constantly trade.
Being aware of the process to achieve your RPSO certification can help you to decide if the certification body matches your organization and your journey to become RSPO certified.

It is essential to find the right certification body to achieve the RSPO certification

The fundamental question is can the certification body deliver on their promise and help you to achieve the RSPO certification. When a certification body accepts you as a client, both parties are getting into a relationship. If you don’t achieve the certification on time, you cannot continue processing palm oil.

You must comply with the RSPO certification if you want to claim that your final product(s) come from a sustainable palm oil source. This means you’re working in the food & feed sector, bio fuels or any industrial related to palm. On every RSPO certified product, you will find a RSPO certified label on it.

One key point is to look at other certifications like food & feed safety or even bio mass / bio fuels as well, if you’re connected in the upstream industry. Would you eat something without knowing that its safe? Therefore, most products have more certified standards on their label, RSPO alone does not address when it comes to human consumption.

This means that it is essential to find the right partner who can also serve the entire palm industry. Not every RSPO accredited certification body can offer everything.

Aspect that play a role in defining a good partner

Ideally you’re looking for a transparent partner in the process to achieve your RSPO certification. With transparency you build trust and trust is the most important aspect in a relationship. If you and the certification body have built trust and you’re in need, you have the confidence that you and the certification body will find a solution together.

Another important element is the level of service the certification body provides. If you’re a palm oil consuming country and you need multiple certifications, you will have an competitive advantage if you find a certification body that can offers all the certifications you need. In other words; a one stop shop solution. One certification body will often mean you have one contact person making things more efficient and cost effective for you.

Appling for the RSPO certification

Hopefully, this blog gives you more insights in the RSPO certification process and can help you to become RSPO certified. Ready to start your RSPO certification process? You can request your certification here.
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