A new guide has been launched to guide food and drink manufacturers on sustainable use of the world’s most contentious and widely used vegetable oil.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry — the UK's largest manufacturing sector — has launched a new sourcing guide to help manufacturers to sustainably source palm oil. The guide should be particularly helpful in light of the EU's new Food Information for Consumers regulation that went into effect earlier this month, which requires all food business operators in the UK to identify products containing palm oil.
Sustainable Palm Oil — Five Steps to Ensure Responsible Sourcing, developed together with Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET), provides a simple step-by-step approach to mapping the use of palm oil; guidance on key risks and opportunities and tips for developing a time-bound commitment and roadmap to sourcing certified sustainable palm oil.
Palm oil production has been cited by NGOs including Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists as the biggest driver of deforestation in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa and South America. Campaigning by these groups and others has raised global awareness around the issue and led a host of consumer packaged goods companies across various industries, as well as their suppliers, to re-examine how the ubiquitous oil is produced and processed, and begin working toward sustainability and traceability throughout the supply chain.
FDF Director General Melanie Leech said: "As global demand for palm oil is rising rapidly and consumers are increasingly seeking reassurance that the products they buy have been sustainably sourced, it makes good business sense to assess your use of this vital ingredient."
"Many of our members have long-standing public commitments to source 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil and we have seen continued progress in the last year with a growing number of companies having successfully achieved their original commitments,” Leech said. “Leading manufacturers have announced revised commitments and action plans to source 100 percent traceable oil that exceeds Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification standards. We hope that this new guide will help food and drink manufacturers of all sizes plan a strategic and actionable approach to sourcing palm oil more sustainably."