The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Darrel Webber will step down from his position on Jan 16, 2020. In a statement on the non-profit organisation’s website on Monday, RSPO said its board of governors will begin to search immediately for Webber’s successor.
In the announcement, RSPO co-chairs Anne Rosenbarger and Datuk Carl Bek Nielsen thanked Webber for his more than eight years of service to the the RSPO — first as its secretary-general and then its CEO. Under his tenure, the grouping grew from a small multi-stakeholder organisation with a primary focus on Southeast Asia, to a global organisation with members across 92 countries.
“This doesn’t even take into account the immeasurable contribution he played as a member of an environmental NGO, prior to joining the organisation. Webber has played an important role in the on-going transformation of the palm oil sector,” they said.
Webber, in turn, shared that the decision to leave RSPO was not an easy one, but one he had mulled over for some months. “I must start a new journey and I am proud to leave RSPO in a financial standing that is the envy of most, and I am confident that this transition will be a smooth one.”
He also reminisced that he had seen RSPO grow from five staff to more than 80 throughout his years with the organisation, while its membership jumped from 300 to over 4,000.
“I am exceptionally proud of the work we have achieved by intervening to protect our environment, safeguarding human and labour rights, securing the benefits of smallholders and together tackling climate change.
“The increase of supporters of RSPO, beyond our membership, especially governments and grassroot supporters has brought new faces into our world, and we now have countries, counties, districts, cities, local businesses, and schools in support of Sustainable Palm Oil. I know my wonderful team will continue on this journey and take sustainable palm oil to bigger, better places,” Webber said.
Established in 2004, the RSPO aims to promote the growth and use of sustainable oil palm, through credible standards and engagement of stakeholders.