Monday, 11 May 2009

WWF to Grade all Palm Oil Buyers


The WWF charity has released figures that show only 1% of the sustainable palm oil available on the market has been purchased. The WWF now plan to assess the world’s major palm oil users over the next six months and publish a score system to endorse companies that support sustainable palm oil and exposing those who have not purchased.

The WWF helped the industry to develop sustainability standards, with the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) providing clear assurance that valuable tropical forests have not been cleared and that environmental safeguards have been met during the production.

Director of WWF International’s Forests Programme, Rodney Taylor, said -

So far around 1.3 million tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil has been produced by RSPO member plantation companies, but less than 15,000 tonnes has been sold as certified. This sluggish demand from palm oil buyers, such as supermarkets, food and cosmetic manufacturers, could undermine the success of the RSPO and threatens the remaining natural tropical forests of Southeast Asia, as well as other forests where oil palm is set to expand, such as the Amazon.

Sainsbury’s, who were amongst the first to buy RSPO protected palm oil and have already used 450 tonnes this year, a clear sign of commitment to only use RSPO approved products by 2014. The WWF would like all companies buying palm oil to purchase 100% of there palm oil from certified sources by 2015.

Senior Policy Officer for Food and Agriculture at WWF-UK, Adam Harrison, said -

WWF applauds the leadership of companies like Sainsbury’s, who have backed up their public commitment with action, and when the Scorecard is published we hope to see even more significant purchases from more companies.

Companies will be scored on a variety of criteria relating to their commitments to the sale and re sale of sustainable palm oil, with the resulting scores enabling customers to evaluate the commitments and actions of major global and UK retailers.