All palm oil sourced through AB’s physical supply chains would be 100% sustainable, whether through segregation (SG) or mass balance (MB), it said.
SG sustainable palm oil is oil that has been grown, harvested and processed under sustainable conditions and does not come into contact with any other palm oil.
Firms that source MB palm oil pay into a system that funds sustainable palm oil production, however, the oil they receive may not be from a sustainable source.
Deadline not given
AB said it would strive to source 100% SG palm oil, as only 90% of its palm oil was currently SG, it added. However, a deadline had not been given.
The firm aimed to reach the strictest standard of sourcing, as outlined by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, of which it had been a member since 2010, it said.
Nicky Gillett, nutrition and health development manager at AB, said: “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made so far with our palm targets and we’re determined to continue taking positive steps to move towards full segregation.”
Consumer concern over the origins of palm oil was the main force behind AB’s drive towards 100% sustainable palm oil, she added.
“Our aim is to continue working closely with our suppliers and the industry to ensure the message about using sustainable sourced palm oil is taken on board across our whole supply chain,” said Gillett.
Food manufacturers had been unfairly criticised for using palm oil in their products, claimed the corporate social responsibility (CSR) director of a global food oil business last year.
However, instead of being lambasted, food businesses deserved to be congratulated on their work to source sustainable palm oil, said Judith Murdoch, CSR director at the edible oils and fats supplier AAK.
Manufacturers in the UK were using far less palm oil than those in other parts of the world, such as India. UK manufacturers had made great strides towards sourcing sustainable palm in the UK, she added.
“The UK is using roughly 450,000t of palm oil per year, versus somewhere like India that’s using 750,000t per month and that’s the difficulty the world faces,” Murdoch said.