Business

Iceland Supermarket Announces Ban On Palm Oil In All Store-Brand Items

Iceland Supermarket Announces Ban On Palm Oil In All Store-Brand Items

The UK supermarket Iceland has announced it will remove palm oil from all its own brand products by the end of the year due to the belief there is no such thing as "sustainable" palm oil.

Growing demand for palm oil for use in food, toiletries and biofuel has helped fuel widespread deforestation in south-east Asia, prompting industry efforts to promote "sustainable" palm oil which is not environmentally damaging. Half of the products have already had palm oil replaced with alternatives such as sunflower oil, rapeseed and butter. It states that it can not guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction and believes that there is no such thing as "sustainable" palm oil.

However, it was unclear last night whether the conservation charity WWF... Once informed, 85 percent of consumers said they did not want palm oil in their food products.

One of the biggest problems in tackling this threat to endangered species and the environment is that many consumers (35%) are unaware of what palm oil even is.

Sustainable palm oil is certified by the RSPO when it meets certain requirements, including production and development that involves no deforestation, no peat development and no exploitation. 71% of palm oil produced is used as an ingredient in food products.

'This journey has shown me that, currently, no major supermarket or food manufacturer can substantiate any claim that the palm oil they use is truly sustainable, as the damage being caused to the global environment and communities in South East Asia is just too extensive'.

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"Certified sustainable palm oil does not now limit deforestation and it does not now limit the growth of palm oil plantations", he said.

This announcement by Iceland recognizes that certified sustainable palm oil is not delivering and can not be said to be deforestation-free.

"This decision is a direct response to the palm oil industry's failure to clean up its act".

However, until sustainable palm oil schemes improve their standards and credibility, it seems they may not be able to reassure retailers that "sustainable" palm oil does not cause forest destruction. Of those who expressed a preference, 88% were against the use of animal-derived products and 48% objected to the use of palm oil-derived additives.

Numerous world's biggest consumer brands, including Nestle (NSRGF), Unilever (UN), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Proctor & Gamble (PG) have pledged to achieve zero deforestation by 2020.


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