RSB Certification for Smallholder Groups

RSB Certification for Smallholder Groups is designed to support smallholders (areas <75 hectares) to access third-party certification by reducing economic barriers that might prevent small scale farmers from demonstrating compliance with sustainability criteria. The certified smallholder groups can supply RSB biomass to fuels and/or any bio-based product processor.

The RSB smallholder certification allows farmers to achieve certification using a stepwise approach and make improvements in their management, environmental and social practices.


  • RSB Compliant Biomass (Smallholders)
  • RSB Compliant Biomass (Smallholders)
  • RSB Compliant Biomass (Smallholders)

    This biomaterial product originated from smallholder production operations certified as compliant with the RSB Standards.

  • RSB Compliant Biomass (Smallholders)

    Supporting sustainable production of biomaterial/biomass/biofuel by smallholders


This certification is for use by groups of farmers, with each farmer not owning more than a total amount of 75 hectares of land. It can also be used by operations which trade products from smallholder group members.  Micro and small biomaterial feedstock processors’ operations (less than 50,000 metric tonnes of biomaterial feedstock processed in a year) that process feedstock from group members can be included in the scope of certification.

As part of an RSB smallholder groups, an appointed management entity has responsibility for managing the certification process and putting the necessary systems in place to ensure the compliance of the individual group members under certification to the respective standard requirements.  This management entity applies for certification, represents the group members when working with RSB and the certification body, and holds the RSB certificate. An external certification body will assess the group management system as well as the compliance of individual group members on a sample basis.

RSB’s Certification for Smallholders is composed of a standard for Group Management and an adapted RSB Principles & Criteria for Smallholder Groups. The adapted RSB Principles & Criteria do not include RSB’s Principle 5 on Rural Development and allows a stepwise approach to compliance with RSB’s sustainability requirements – giving smallholders up to three years to reach full compliance.

RSB’s approach to sustainability is anchored in our 12 Principles for the sustainable production of fuels and products.




RSB provides guidance on the development and requirements for a Group Management System, as well as specific information on chain of custody and claims.

Risk-based approach: not every requirement applies to every producer and by completing the self-risk assessment and screening exercise during the certification process, your context-specific sustainability requirements will be set out.

Which documents apply to me?

There are two documents that apply for RSB Certification for Smallholders. The specific sustainability requirements that apply within your operation will be clarified upon completion of your screening exercise.