RNS Number : 3985E
New Britain Palm Oil Limited
26 September 2008
NOT FOR THE DISTRICBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, MALAYSIA, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR THE UNITED STATES
26 September 2008
NEW BRITAIN PALM OIL LIMITED
CERTIFICATION BY THE ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL
New Britain Palm Oil Limited (LSE: NBPO) ('NBPOL' or the 'Company'), a large scale integrated industrial producer of palm oil in Australasia, is pleased to announce that its operations in Papua New Guinea ('PNG') have been officially certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ('RSPO') as conforming to RSPO Principles and Criteria on sustainability.
The RSPO's global sustainability standard defines how sustainable palm oil should be grown and verified and an assurance mechanism for traceability throughout the entire supply chain. Together, these measures represent the first ever sustainable commodity standard and, in essence, provide assurances on both the performance of the Company and the product NBPOL delivers to customers.
NBPOL's RSPO certification underlines the Company's full compliance with strict social, environmental and economic criteria. This demonstrates that NBPOL is wholly committed to sustainability and it is a strong endorsement of the quality of the management and operations of the Company.
With all of its operations RSPO certified, NBPOL is now in a unique position to deliver 100% certified sustainable palm oil into Europe and, more importantly, will allow it to supply its own UK refinery once this has been completed. Moreover, the Company expects to benefit from the stronger pricing of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil product. Although NBPOL's palm oil is currently fully traceable, NBPOL intends to have its palm product traceability audited and certified by wholly independent monitors who are due to be appointed.
RSPO certification is important not just for the Company's own operations but also for the palm oil produced by NBPOL's smallholders, which account for approximately one third of its total palm oil production. NBPOL is one of the first companies to be RSPO certified and is the first producer of palm oil to achieve this standard for smallholders.
Recognising the efforts and expertise required by producers to reach this standard and in accordance with the Code of Conduct of RSPO members to share their experiences for the benefit of all, NBPOL has formed Global Sustainability Associates as a consulting centre providing assistance with all aspects of the production, procurement, trade and use of sustainable palm oil.
Nick Thompson, Chief Executive of New Britain Palm Oil Limited, commented:
'NBPOL's high quality sustainability credentials, which have now been certified by the RSPO, are increasingly demanded by our EU customer base and are also beginning to differentiate our product, trends we believe will continue to grow.
Many major food companies have expressed a desire to source sustainable and traceable palm oil and we believe that our dedicated supply chain should ensure that NBPOL will be able to supply palm oil that is both sustainable and traceable from 'palm to plate', giving manufacturers and consumers total confidence in their product.'
Gavin Anderson (Financial PR Adviser)
Ken Cronin / Janine Brewis / Anthony Hughes
Tel: +44(0)20 7554 1400
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander
Tel: +44 (0)20 3205 5000
New Britain Palm Oil Limited
Tel: +44(0)20 7554 1400
About The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
The multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formally established in 2003 to promote the production, procurement and use of sustainable palm oil. To meet this vision, the RSPO has developed a global sustainability standard which defines how sustainable palm oil should be grown and verified and an assurance mechanism for traceability throughout the supply chain. Together, these measures represent the first ever sustainable commodity standard and in essence provide assurances on both the performance of a company and the product it delivers.
The final version of the standard appeared in 2007 and defined sustainable palm oil through a series of principles and criteria. For each criterion a set of performance indicators are attached. Compliance with the standard is measured against these indicators by third party auditors who are independent of both the producer and RSPO. Meeting the requirement of this robust standard is demanding. The 8 principles and 39 criteria cover the breath of sustainability with over 100 performance indicators detailing compliance with social, environmental and economic issues. The verification audits required to demonstrate compliance are equally exacting requiring a team of auditor with defined competencies physically checking the evidence of compliance over the company's entire operations.
Notes to editors
NBPOL is a large scale industrial producer of sustainable palm oil in Australasia, with over 40,000 hectares of planted palm oil plantations, five oil mills, a refinery and a seed production and plant breeding facility. It is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's main market under the ticker NBPO.L (commencement of dealing on 17 December 2007) and on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange in PNG.
NBPOL is fully vertically integrated, producing its own seed (which it also sells globally) and plants, cultivating and harvesting its own land and processing and refining palm oil. It also contracts directly with its end customers in the EU and arranges shipping of its products.
The palm oil market is undergoing a period of rapid change with demand from the developing and urbanising Asian economies and the new biofuel industry driving a marked increase in demand for vegetable oil products, including palm oil. The global price of palm oil has risen in response in part to this marked change in demand.
NBPOL has some of the world's highest yielding plantations of palm oil and is currently achieving yields per hectare approximately 19 per cent. above the world average due, in the Directors' opinion, to the favourable natural environment in PNG, high quality genetic material and skilled management.
NBPOL has a high level of control over its entire supply chain, from the control and development of its genetic material, through planting, harvesting, processing and finally contracting with its end customers.
NBPOL has high regard for the importance of its sustainability credentials and is active in proving its performance through its certification to ISO 14001 and its close involvement and support of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ('RSPO') - the RSPO has over 260 members, of which 12 are non-governmental organisations (including WWF and Oxfam). NBPOL's Head of Research, Dr Simon Lord, is Vice President of the RSPO.
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