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Sustainable palm oil deal brings 100% target closer

By Mike Stones , 24-Jun-2013
Last updated on 28-Jun-2013 at 16:22 GMT

Meeting the target of 100% sustainable palm oil within two years has moved closer with a deal between New Britain Palm Oil (NBPOL) and Olenex – a joint venture between Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Wilmar International.

NBPOL will supply ADM and Wilmar with sustainable palm oil from its Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified plantations. Palm oil from NBPOL’s Liverpool refinery will be delivered to ADM’s Pura Food operations in London. Wilmar’s Brake facility in Germany will also receive NBPOL oil.

The oil production from both facilities, and from ADM’s operations in Hamburg, will be sold by Olenex throughout Europe.

The total European palm oil market for food is about 5Mt a year, while the UK market uses 550,000t a year. This deal boosts the total supply of sustainable palm oil for the UK food market to 350,000t a year – more than 60% of its annual consumption.

Remedy shortages

A joint statement released by NBPOL and Olenex claimed that the deal would help to remedy the shortages of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil fractions and derivatives that had been blamed for the limited uptake of sustainable palm oil in the past.

Richard Benyon, natural environment and fisheries minister, welcomed the partnership. “Palm oil from unsustainable plantations causes deforestation and destroys the habitats of endangered species like the orangutan,” said Benyon.

“We welcome this initiative which makes it easier for manufacturers to do the right thing. It will help us move towards the target of 100% sustainable palm oil in the UK by 2015.”

Deliver on their targets

Alan Chaytor, NBPO executive director, said: “By New Britain Palm Oil supplying to versatile facilities like Wilmar’s Brake, as well as Pura Foods and ADM’s Hamburg, this agreement will help food companies and retailers deliver on their targets of only using 100% sustainable palm oil in the future.”

Arduino Borgogno, corporate social responsibility director for the Ferrero Group, said: “The collaboration of ADM, Wilmar, NBPOL and Olenex to provide a truly sustainable segregated supply of palm oil in most fractions will help companies like Ferrero continue to purchase their ingredients in a responsible manner ahead of target.”

Palm oil is used in one in 10 supermarket products – including bread, crackers, chips, margarine and cereals – and personal care and beauty products such as soap and lipstick.

NBPOL refines palm oil in the UK and Papua New Guinea. The firm produces its own palm oil seed, plants, cultivates and harvests crops on its own land.

Olenex was established last year as a joint venture between ADM and Wilmar for the sale and marketing of refined vegetable oils and fats.

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