Sustainable Palm Oil

What is Palm Oil?

Palm oil is a versatile raw material which comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. It is used in a large number of food and household products from cakes, quiche and even soap.

Palm oil has the highest yield per hectare of any oil or oilseed crop and because of this the production of palm oil contributes to the economic development of the producing countries and to the diets of millions of people around the world. However, there are worries about the environmental impact palm oil can have as planting more palm trees can lead to deforestation and habitat loss, changing the balance of local eco systems.

How can you know if you are buying products with Palm Oil?

By law food companies only have to put ‘vegetable oil’ on their ingredients lists and not specify if it is ‘palm oil’ making it hard to make an informed decision about the products you are buying. At the Co-operative we know that our customers value honesty and transparency so we include ‘palm oil’ on the ingredient list of products which contain it.

How does The Co-operative Food make sure we use sustainable palm oil?

At The Co-operative we believe that any palm oil we use should be produced in a sustainable manner that supports the farmers producing palm oil. All palm oil used in our own-brand products is certified as sustainable under one of the certification schemes developed by RSPO. This was partially achieved through the purchase of GreenPalm credits, which are bought directly from small holder producers which means the premium goes straight to the farmers growing palm oil sustainably, supporting their livelihood and encouraging others to adopt sustainable practices.

To promote sustainable palm oil The Co-operative are also members of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

As members of the RSPO we commit ourselves to supporting the production and use of sustainable palm oil. Since the end of 2011 we have ensured all palm oil used as an ingredient in own brand products should be certified as segregated or covered by our Green Palm certificates.

We aim to increase the number of products we have that contain fully traceable certified sustainable palm oil and we have a target to ensure all palm oil in our products will come from a segregated Certified Sustainable Palm Oil source by 2015.

See the list of the products currently in The Co-operative Food own-brand range which contain certified sustainable palm oil

More information on RSPO 

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