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Responsible and sustainable palm oil sourcing

The confectionery industry recognises that palm oil is an important ingredient used across many food and non-food products.

The industry shares concerns about destruction of rainforest and associated habitat. For those reasons many manufacturers support the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and its plan to develop a fully sustainable palm oil industry 1. In conjunction many companies have also decided to use Green Palm – which, similar to green electricity, enables businesses to support and encourage sustainability production efforts.

Palm and palm kernel oil are used in food and confectionery products due to their unique taste, texture and other characteristics. They are technologically difficult to replace or to find commercially viable alternative vegetable fats with similar properties.

For practical reasons including variable supply and mixing of sources, the confectionery industry does not support labelling the origin of particular oils or ingredients. Mandatory labelling should only apply in cases of consumer health and safety.

The Ai Group Confectionery Sector believes the aim of business, governments and NGOs should be sustainable farming – not boycotting the palm oil industry. The industry is responsible for the wellbeing and welfare of many people particularly in developing nations.

We strongly encourage members that use palm and palm kernel oil, to use certified sustainable palm derivatives for food processing when they become available. Sustainably produced palm oil benefits both the environment and the industry.

Fast facts

  • Palm produces up to 10 times more oil per unit area than soybean, rapeseed or sunflower.
  • Palm produces more than 34% of the world’s eight major vegetable oils on less than 5% of the total area under oil crops. 
  • Today palm contributes approximately 8.4% of the world’s current calorific needs, population is growing by approx 80 million per year, therefore by 2050 we will need at least 33% more calories. 
  • Small holders produce more than 30% of the world supply and they rely on palm as their major source of income.

Further information sources: 
Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
GreenPalm Sustainability
AAK UK 
AAK
WWF - What is palm oil?
AarhusKarlshamn Australia/New Zealand: Peter Brazel (tel: +61 (0)2 8850 3522


1. There are currently three Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) models that are endorsed by the RSPO, namely: 
Identify Preserved: This model requires complete segregation of CSPO from the start of the chain through to delivery in separate tanks, ships, trucks and pipelines. This allows the end user to state that a product "contains only RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil". The approximate premium over regulation palm oil is approximately $200 per tonne. 
Mass Balance: This model allows mixing of CSPO with conventional palm oil at any stage in the supply chain, provided that quantities of both types of oil are monitored and tracked. End users who adopt this approach may claim that their products "support the production of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil." 
GreenPalm Certificates: This model is where certified palm oil is represented by tradable certificates. The producers of CSPO can sell certificates to end users thus rewarding producers for adopting sustainable practices without the need for segregation of the oil through the supply chain. End products using certificate-traded palm oil may claim that they "support the production of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil." During March 2010, GreenPalm certificates were trading at around $US16/tonne of crude palm oil.