KUALA LUMPUR — The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which includes the likes of Nestle, Unilever and Kellogg as members, has brought in APCO for public relations support.

The RSPO, a not-for-profit that develops and implements global standards for sustainable palm oil, currently counts more than 4,000 members worldwide across all seven sectors of the palm oil supply chain.

An APCO representative confirmed that the firm is working with the RSPO in Asia and parts of Europe "to bring greater awareness to palm oil and highlight the need for the industry to be more sustainable."

While palm oil is one of the world's most widely-used vegetable oils, it has faced sustained criticism for contributing to deforestation and human rights abuses. The RSPO was set up in response to these issues, and claims that its criteria helps to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions. 

Members that adhere to the RSPO's environmental and legal standards include major retailers and food companies. The organisation currently certifies around 19% of global palm oil production. 

The APCO hire comes after the RSPO named a new CEO in Beverley Postma, who replaced Darrel Webber.