UK to lead the way on sustainable palm oil

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on October 31, 2012.

The United Kingdom is committed to achieving 100% sourcing of sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015

Government, supermarkets, manufacturers, charities, WWF and associations including UKCPI have joined forces to work towards ensuring that, by 2015, all palm oil used in everyday food and products is responsibly-produced and does not contribute to deforestation.

Palm oil is the world’s most used vegetable oil, and global consumption is rising. It is a cheap and efficient commodity with many different uses. The oil palm tree is the most efficient producer of oil per hectare of cultivated land.

Palm oil and palm kernel oil are used by the cleaning products industry to provide ingredients such as surfactants in cleaning products.

UKCPI Director General Philip Malpass said: “As many UKCPI member companies are already long standing members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the preferred definition of sustainability for our sector is that described by RSPO criteria i.e. includes identity preserved or segregated palm (CSPO), mass balance or purchase via the GreenPalm Book and Claim scheme. On the basis of this definition, our members can commit to a UK Government statement of intent that all UK sourcing of palm oil be from sustainable sources by 2015.”

By the end of 2015 all palm oil used in central Government food and catering services will come from environmentally friendly sources, Environment Minister Richard Benyon announced today.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: “The Government is leading the way by ensuring that only environmentally friendly sourced palm oil is used in its central food and catering services. This is great news for wildlife and forests around the world.

“People want to know that the products they are using are not contributing to deforestation and climate change and many UK businesses are already starting to make changes. Producers, manufacturers and charities will continue working together to speed up the move to 100% sustainable palm oil in everyday products.”

This announcement comes as the International Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil annual conference takes place in Singapore from 29-31 October.

The Government will also set up an advice and information service to help UK businesses and government procurers work towards 100% sustainable palm oil. This includes a helpline, web pages, newsletters and seminars. Latest figures show that in 2011 the UK imported 450,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Contact the UKCPI on or call 07843 199397.