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'Sustainable palm oil revolution' call
Published on: Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) claimed to have started a sustainable palm oil revolution since 2004 at its inception.

Datuk Darrel Webber (pic), the chief executive officer of RSPO, called on all RSPO members and skateholders to continue this revolution until only sustainable palm oil is acceptable to be used in the market.

"Long Live this revolution!" He said this in his welcoming address to delegates to its 16th Annual Roundtable Conference on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT16) held at the Magellan Sutera Resort last Thursday November 15, 2018 themed 'A Renewed Commitment to Achieving Market Transformation'.


"This is an excellent theme for deliberation over the meeting prior to the review of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) at the 15th Annual General Assembly (GA15).

"The world is in bad shape. Our leaders are in bad shape. Our systems are broken. We need a revolution. How many times have we heard these kinds of messages in our lifetime? I know I have. Especially Malaysians have said this a lot in the last few years."

"And recently had a revolution. But if we say with gusto, we want a revolution. We feel alive, we feel empowered and we feel we are doing something. But how many of us understand what is in a revolution?

"What is it that we are wishing for? Now the dictionary defines revolution as a forcible overthrow of a current government regime or a social order in favour of a new system. In other words, a forced break from the past. A failed overthrow is termed as a rebellion. The first recorded rebellion was in 2800 B.C. in ancient Egypt."

"How do we measure a successful revolution? The 2011 Arab Spring revolution in Egypt is, as some would say, the most successful revolution in modern history. Why? It just took 18 days to overthrow then the regime of President Hosni Mubarak from office."


"Should we look at 18 days be the gauge as a benchmark for a successful revolution or should we look at the longevity of the ideas of that revolution post-overthrow?"

"If so, the French Revolution is considered the most successful as the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity survived through dictatorships and five republics and inspired the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights."

"So, the French Revolution and the Arab Revolution are considered successful, but only one so far whose ideas have gone mainstream, went beyond its borders, and went beyond many generations.

"To me, the French Revolution is a compelling case of a successful revolution is. Revolutionary ideas that stand the test of time and inspire the masses should be our ambition if we want to change the world."

He then pondered on how ideas could become mainstream, going onto the success story of Apple smartphone that distinguished itself from other smartphones by opening up its Appstore for third party developers to come up with applications for Apple smartphones faster than Apple could do on its own.


"I think the lessons from the mainstreaming of the smartphone offers lessons on incremental innovation, learning, continuous improvement and open up pathway to other developments and applications."

Incremental innovation has paved the way for the successful palm oil revolution since 2004 for sustainable palm oil. "Ladies and gentlemen, I say all these to impress upon you since 2004 we have not only not stop innovating, but we have created an ecosystem that compels us to innovate."

He summed up his message to the delegates as that not all revolutions are successful. The ones that are successful are the ones whose ideas have stand the test of time and inspire the mainstream.

To mainstream ideas, you must have constant incremental innovation, and since 2004, RSPO have not stood still, and have engaged with those who have work hard for solutions. - David Thien

Photo Source: RSPO.org

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