Moving towards fully sustainable palm oil
Demand for palm oil is increasing worldwide, with around 80 per cent of total requirements being covered by Indonesia and Malaysia. The cultivation of this raw material is not without its problems, however, as it requires large areas of land and causes the destruction of rainforests.
This is why, for our own-label brands, we use only sustainably produced palm oil that can be traced all the way back to its origins. Since 2004, we have been a member of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an association that promotes the production of palm oil under socially and environmentally acceptable conditions. In concrete terms, this means that no more rainforests were cleared from 2005 onwards, laws are complied with and working conditions are fair and safe.
100 per cent sustainable palm oil is possible
We need around 2,500 tonnes of palm oil a year for our own-label products food, 86,3 per cent of which already comes from sustainable cultivation. The origin of the palm oil is traceable, and it has been awarded the RSPO standard “Identity preserved” or “Segregated”. But we are also active in our non-food range of products: In 2013, for example, we succeeded in switching to a sustainable RSPO standard with the palm oil used as an ingredient in the washing and cleaning products from our subsidiary Steinfels Swiss – and were the first retailer to do so. By the end of 2015, we aim to source all of the palm oil we use for our own-label brands from sustainable cultivation. In addition to this, we give preference to suppliers that meet stricter standards with regard to the use of pesticides and the reduction of greenhouse gases, and do not allow the cultivation of palm oil on peatland.
A raw material with a range of benefits
Palm oil and fat are valuable to us for three reasons:
- First, they are highly suitable for a wide range of food and non-food products.
- Second, for health reasons we do not use any hardened fats and refrain from using animal fats out of consideration for vegetarians.
- Third, oil palms are extremely productive, which has a positive impact on price and space requirements.