REPLY RECEIVED BY A SUPPORTER FROM THE CO-OPERATIVE FOOD GROUP UK There is no excuse or logical reason for waiting until 2015. There is ample sustainable PALM oil available now. The delay has more to do with buying cheaper oil at the expense of the oranguatns. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WRITE TO THE CO-OP WITH YOUR POLITE VIEWS ON THEIR PROCRASTINATION, THE ADDRESS IS Claire.Wolstenholme@co-operative.coop
Thank you for contacting us about your concerns with the use of palm oil. We are naturally aware of all the issues regarding the production of palm oil and I can assure you this is something we take seriously.
Firstly, in line with our honest labelling policy, you will find that we label palm oil in the ingredients list of all our own brand products. This is not a legal requirement and the majority of other retailers will choose to use the generic 'vegetable oil' instead.
We feel that by giving our customers all the information regarding the ingredients that go into our own brand products, customers can then make informed choices about whether they buy these products.
The Co-operative Group is committed to the principles of sustainably managed agriculture. Sustainability being defined as agricultural practices which aim to optimise the needs of consumers, society, the environment and the farmer, including his or her community. In view of this commitment, The Co-operative Food has set a target that all products that contain palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients must only use RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2015 at the latest.
We have also banned palm oil, or a blend containing palm oil, from being used to fry any Co-operative brand products. In the interest of reducing our environmental impact we require suppliers to consider other types of oils, ideally from non-tropical sources, whilst still recognising these can be an important commodity for some communities.
We also reserve the right to suspend or delist any company within the palm oil supply chain that can be shown to have repeatedly exhibited practices not in keeping with the Principles and Criteria of the RSPO. This suspension will remain until we are satisfied that the issues have been resolved.