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About Alioth

Alioth business consulting provides practical, results-oriented, business management support. In recent years, Alioth has specialized in helping companies with the preparation and implementation of chain of custody management systems. As an FSC® Chain of Custody certified Group Manager, we can also offer small businesses the opportunity to participate in the FSC Chain of Custody program at a discounted rate, while maintaining the same level of quality they are known for.

In addition to our consulting and certification services, Alioth also supports Certification Bodies in conducting third party Chain of Custody audits (FSC, PEFC, Keurhout, RSPO).
As Alioth firmly believes in the realization of sustainable supply chains, we are affiliated with the RSPO. Alioth is an associate member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Membership number 9-0695-14-000-00. Since January 8, 2015, we are certified as an RSPO Group Manager. You can find our certificate at the RSPO website (certificate code: CU-RSPO SCC-828058).

What is a Group Certificate?

A RSPO Group Certificate is an RSPO supply chain Certification, conducted by a Group Manager, of which several independent small or medium sized companies/entities can become a member. Under the supervision of the Group Manager, the members will actively participate in the RSPO supply chain. The Group Manager is responsible for supporting and checking all participants in the Group Certification. Therefore, before joining, and annually thereafter, all group members will be audited.

On behalf of the RSPO, the Group Certification process is supervised by an RSPO accredited Certification Body, which annually monitors the Group Manager and a selection of members participating in the Group Certification process. Throughout the certification process, all members will be audited by the authority at least once.

Why RSPO Group Certification?

The RSPO Group Certification allows small and medium sized businesses to be certified at low cost, as the costs are shared among the other Group Members; it’s not necessary for a Group Member to become an individual RSPO member. Compared to an (individual) RSPO Corporate Certification, the overall costs are substantially lower.

Another reason why certification is becoming more accessible is because all consultancy services are included in the annual group membership fee. This way, it is guaranteed that all on-going efforts required to remain certified are reduced to an absolute minimum. All documentation is kept up-to-date and relevant chances will be communicated and handled by the Group Manager.

Who can participate?

Participating as a member in the Group Certification is possible for all organizations that are classified as legitimate, registered independent legal palm supply chain entities. These entities are using palm oil products in quantities up to 500 Metric Tons (MT) per year and are also willing to meet to all relevant RSPO and Group Management requirements. 

In addition to the RSPO requirements, all Group Member employees who perform critical tasks within the RSPO Chain of Custody process should be able to communicate in the Dutch, German or English language. If this requirement can not be met by the organization, membership is only possible if a local language speaking consultant is available.


Important: although the RSPO Supply Chain  Certification Standard mentions that group membership is imited for organizations that employ a maximum of 100 full-time employees, the RSPO T&T SC recently decided that this limit is no longer applicable!

How to become an RSPO certified Group member?

Step 1: Find out if RSPO certification is possible/makes sense
Before applying as a Group Member, it is important to find out if your organization meets all preconditions. Also it is important to determine if becoming RSPO Supply Chain certified makes sense. Therefore, you need to verify if your suppliers are RSPO certified or hold a valid RSPO traders/distributors license. Be aware that being certified/licensed is not a guarantee that they are able to sell your products as RSPO certified!

Step 2: Contracting
If your organization meets all preconditions and RSPO Supply Chain certification makes sense, you need to contact Alioth. Alioth will send you the certification contract (Member Agreement). After you have accepted and signed the Member Agreement without reservation, the Member Agreement must be returned to Alioth. Together with the signed Member Agreement, we need you to inform us about the annual volume of palm oil products that is being used by your organization and we need an extract of the relevant commercial or court registration of your organization.

Step 3: Training and documentation
After receipt of the signed contract, in consultation with the prospective member, the Group Manager will set a date to visit your company. The Group Manager's visit will include training for the employees who will perform (critical) tasks within the RSPO supply chain. Following the training, the final scope of certification will be determined and new relevant work arrangements will be provided in the RSPO operation manual, compiled by the Group Manager based on the information obtained.

After receiving the manual from the Group Manager, the prospective member will begin to implement the guidelines within the company.

Step 4: Initial audit
After implementation of the documented guidelines, the Group Manager will set a date to carry out an initial audit.  The audit will determine whether the prospective participant meets all certification requirements.

The initial audit will be performed as a desk audit. Part of the desk audit will include: interviewing the employees who perform critical tasks within the RSPO supply chain, by phone (or through Skype or WebEx). Scheduling a company visit is often not necessary, as prior to the audit, any requested documents and records (such as the volume administration and any sample documents) should have already been delivered; and during the audit, additional information will likely be requested.

Step 5: Certification
After the initial audit has been completed and corrective measures have been taken for any deficiencies, the company will classify the applicant as a member with Group Certification. The Group Manager will then provide the member with a certification code and sub code; the company will use them to identify itself as a RSPO certified supplier. The company is then registered with the Certification Body and credited as an RSPO certified company and member in the group certificate. From the date of its acceptance, the company is permitted to provide products bearing the RSPO certification claim.

How do we proceed if the organization is certified?

Members join for the duration of the group certificate. During this period, the company must comply with all requirements. The Group Manager is tasked with supervising the compliance of all conditions and requirements. This means that the Group Manager must audit all participating companies, at least annually, in order to determine whether a deviation exists from the relevant requirements.

In addition to the audit by the Group Manager, the Certification Body will also act as a supervisor of the group certificate. This also ensures that the Group Manager is audited yearly, as well as a number of members who are selected for audit on a random basis. To maintain their membership, members must meet all certification requirements at all times and follow requests to take corrective action within the time limits provided.

Do you need an application form or do you need more information?

Alioth Business Consulting
NL-7546 MX Enschede, The Netherlands
Your contact: Mr. B.E. Wevers
E-mail: rspo@alioth-support.nl