A District-Level ICS: A Jurisdictional Entity for Independent Smallholders

Three decades ago, the world was searching for the best ways to achieve sustainable and responsible palm oil.

In 2004, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was established with a mission to promote the practice and use of sustainable palm oil production, creating global standards and engaging with stakeholders from different sectors of the industry. Now, the certification body has pushed the implementation of sustainability along the supply chains.   

However, more efforts are still needed to include more independent smallholders in the sustainable global supply chains. 

Small-scale farmers are often left out of progress as they face significant obstacles to achieving certification, including financial challenges and lack of access to land ownership and plantation permits. Moreover, they also have poor access to training to address these problems. 

In Indonesia, the largest producer of palm oil in the world, smallholders also face similar problems. And, consequently, very few Indonesian independent smallholders have been certified. 

External support from civil society organizations and companies can help to some extent, such as funding the certification costs and providing training for smallholders. But this kind of  approach is not sufficient  for the independent smallholders in achieving a systematic inclusion in sustainable supply chains for the long run.

Download the file


A District-Level ICS: A Jurisdictional Entity for Independent Smallholders



Publication Year





ICS, Sustainable Palm Oil, Smallholders.