One of the UK’s leading cereal brands has announced that it intends to use 100 per cent Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by the end of 2010.
Jordans uses around 500 tonnes of palm oil each year to avoid the need to include artificial preservatives in its cereal and Ryvita brands - considered necessary with more unstable fats such as rapeseed oil.
In an interview with the Ecologist in December 2009, the company's founder Bill Jordan said he had tried putting pressure on suppliers but had yet to find a company that could supply sustainable palm oil in blended form.
However Jordans today announced that it had signed a deal with New Britain Oils, which has also agreed to supply United Biscuits and is currently building a refinery in Liverpool.
Its parent company, New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, manages and operates 67,000 hectares of plantations in Papua New Guinea and is one of the first companies to be independently certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
‘We only work with the certified plantations in Papua New Guinea so we can offer buyers a fully traceable and verifiable supply chain,’ said Steve Upton, New Britain Oil’s trading manager.
‘We are very pleased with the level of interest. As well as working with Jordans and United Biscuits, we are talking to other major brands who want to use CSPO Palm Oil,’ he added.
Associated British Food (ABF), which owns a majority stake in Jordans, was criticised by WWF last year for its record on palm oil.
Following the Jordans announcement, ABF said its brands would aim to use only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil or Identity Preserved Palm Oil (which can be traced to a sustainable plantation) by 2015, 'provided that supply is available'.
But Greenpeace urged caution over ABF's announcement:
'This is another example of big companies outsourcing responsibility to the RSPO rather than managing the sustainability of their own supply chains,' said Greenpeace's Ian Duff.
'There is still a long way to go until the RSPO standards are good enough. They still don't recognise the greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production and they are yet to take action against producers who breach the guidelines,' he added.
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