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Sustainable palm oil certification – the smart choice

Posted: 3 January 2019 | | No comments yet

As the popularity of palm oil continues to grow, so does the controversy surrounding it – at time of writing, the furore over the banned Iceland supermarket/Greenpeace TV advertisement in the UK continues. Andy Green discusses how the supply chain can help to make the world’s most consumed vegetable oil – and a frequent ingredient in confectionery – viable and sustainable.

Palm oil is an emotive product. Earlier this year, Iceland, a major supermarket in the UK, announced that it would be placing a ban on all products containing palm oil and, online, consumers regularly use social media to call on companies to change their palm oil policies. The social damage that can befall a company that uses palm oil should not be underestimated; especially in the case of luxury products, such as confectionery items, which are easily boycotted by consumers and already have a high profile.

We have seen furore over palm oil with larger players, and Ferrero, for instance, has experienced many a storm about palm, specifically with its Nutella product. Interestingly, Ferrero – and Nutella in particular – has a very strong sustainable palm policy, and Nutella only uses segregated, sustainable palm oil. However, due to misinformation in the public domain, and a misunderstanding about how to make palm oil viable, those companies continually need to defend their position. Fortunately, Ferrero and many other confectionery companies are thinking about responsibility with respect to palm; but for those who have not been so careful, it could be very damaging indeed.

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