Sustainable Palm Oil Production
Palm oil is a versatile raw material used in a host of food and cosmetics products. It contributes to the economic development of the producing countries and to the diets of millions of people around the world. Although palm oil is entirely genetically modified organism (GMO) free, it is recognised that there are environmental pressures related to its rapid expansion to eco-sensitive areas. It is vital that production and use of palm oil is done in a sustainable manner.
What we’re doing to improve the sustainability of palm oil:
- As the first South African company to become a member of the global Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), we’re helping to promote and raise awareness of the need for sustainable palm oil production.
- We have been purchasing GreenPalm certificates to offset the tons of palm oil we use in Woolworths food and beauty products since 2011. A payment from each certificate goes towards incentivising Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil producers to become RSPO-certified sustainable producers.
- Sourcing RSPO certified sustainable palm oil remains a challenge as only 15% of the global supply of palm oil is certified as sustainable and most of this is sold to the EU. Because of this, we are also engaging with local oil refineries and encouraging them to commit to importing certified sustainable palm oil and to become chain of custody certified.
- We declare the type of oil used in our products on the ingredients panel of our packaging. It is our policy to avoid the use of unsustainable and untraceable palm oil. We are working towards only using RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in our products.
- Woolworths is actively working with suppliers to agree on time-bound plans for conversion to RSPO certified sustainable palm oil. In 2015, our sole supplier of exclusive recipe pies became Woolworths’ first supplier to move to sourcing 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil using the’ mass balance’ approach.