The story of products containing palm oil is controversial.
Extracted from the fruit of palm trees, this vegetable oil is low priced and especially versatile as an ingredient in food and other consumer packaged goods. Palm oil is found in almost every aisle of the supermarket, in biscuits, frying oil, sauces, chips, chocolate, soaps, shampoo, cosmetics and detergents, to name just a few examples.
Yet to assure adequate supply, palm trees historically have been cultivated on massive plantations, especially in Southeast Asia, destroying forests, eliminating animal habitats and impacting the lives of indigenous peoples.
Today this sourcing practice poses great risk to corporate reputation. Consumers and NGOs in the European Union and elsewhere, increasingly focus negative attention on organisations that source palm oil in ways deemed environmentally or socially irresponsible.
TFT works with pioneering companies determined to rewrite the palm oil products story. Companies that want to deliver responsible palm oil products are able to turn those reputational risks into opportunities.
WHAT IS A RESPONSIBLE PALM OIL PRODUCT?
A responsible palm oil product is any product whose palm oil ingredient has been sourced without negative impact to the environment, animal habitats or local populations.
According to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), responsible palm oil should be legal, traceable and sustainably produced. Palm tree plantations should not damage ecologically and carbon-rich forests and their development must include the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous and local communities.
Traceability is also key component in a commitment to secure only responsible palm oil products. To verify compliance with the highest standards, companies must implement robust tracking systems all the way back to the plantations.
Setting up traceability systems and tackling environmental and social issues throughout the palm oil supply chain can be particularly complex and are often distant from a company’s core business and markets. TFT supports its Members on the ground, giving objective insight into the realities of the supply chain and the practical support needed to deliver responsible palm oil products.
HOW WE DELIVER
TFT has a decade-long track record of successfully assisting businesses to deliver Responsible Products to market. We help you develop and implement a credible action plan. We’re present on the ground, on plantations and in refineries, to identify and mitigate your key environmental and social risks. Our approach includes 5 key services:
1. Map the supply chain and identify key social and environmental risks;
2. Set up a traceability system all the way back to the raw material source;
3. Provide technical assistance on the ground to help tackle key sustainability risks;
4. Achieve legal compliance and certification when credible standards exist;
5. Communicate your changing product story to stakeholders.
ENGAGE WITH US
If you are interested in becoming a TFT Member and embark on the Responsible Product journey, please check the Engage with us section.