Procurement criteria for sustainable palm oil

In a nutshell

This tool supports public procurers by providing criteria on sustainable palm oil to be included in a call for tender for food or catering services. It also encourages procurers to require two certifications in their tenders; in this example, certification for organic AND responsibly produced palm oil. By asking suppliers (either food suppliers or caterers) to meet these criteria, procurers help increase the demand for sustainably produced palm oil and raise awareness about the social and environmental consequences following palm oil production, including deforestation and biodiversity loss.

Necessary Steps

Adapt and implement the following criteria into your call for tenders:

  • Any palm oil used in food or intended for use in food preparation must not have contributed to the deforestation of primary forests and must include a double certification on both organic production and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification (or equivalent) within 12 months of starting the contract.
  • As part of the offer, the supplier must prepare an action plan for phasing out non-certified palm oil used in food or intended for use in food preparation.
  • The action plan may, for example, contain descriptions of steps to be taken first, how the supplier will work with their suppliers, and a deadline for when the supplier should have phased out products that do not conform with the required certification.
  • This will be followed up at the status meetings with the contracting entity (procurer).

More Issues To Consider

The RSPO has developed a certification system for supply chains ranging from palm oil plantations to end-users in industry (e.g. food, drink, and soap manufacturers).

Further Information


The information on this page about the use of the tool “Procurement criteria for sustainable palm oil” is only provided as a general guide and is not intended as a substitute for the user to check the respective public procurement regulations. We compiled the content to the best of our knowledge, but do not assume any liability for completeness and correctness. We do not assume any liability for the user to verify the applicable procurement law provisions in the respective national state.

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