KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Physical uptake of certified sustainable palm oil increased 49% in the first quarter ended March 31, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Sales of certified sustainable palm oil reported in an eTrace system through identity-preserved, segregated and mass balance supply chains reached 506,586 tonnes, which compared with 340,668 tonnes in the previous year’s first quarter.

“The recent months have seen many more companies committing toward 100% R.S.P.O. certified sustainable palm oil, most of them with a 2015 deadline,” said Salahudin Yaacob, technical director of the R.S.P.O. “We are happy to see these commitments, many from large European retailers and consumer goods companies, reflecting in real terms on the demand for C.S.P.O.”

The R.S.P.O. estimates the annual production capacity of certified sustainable palm oil is 9.7 million tonnes, or about 16% of global crude palm oil. A not-for-profit association, the R.S.P.O. includes stakeholders from seven sectors of the oil palm industry: oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation non-governmental organizations, and social or developmental non-governmental organizations.