The brand will sell palm oil products for the bakery and food manufacturing sector in the UK.
Planet Palm's initial range contains four products, including its signature Planet Palm Oil and three specialist bakery products – Planet Palm Cake Margarine, Planet Palm Pastry Margarine and Planet Palm Shortening. All four of the products have been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
KTC has partnered with agriculture firm DAABON as part of the launch in order to develop the new palm oil products. Looking ahead, Planet Palm is set to launch further products with bakery, confectionery and ice cream applications.
Founded in 1972, KTC employs more than 410 people across two UK sites in Wednesbury and Liverpool. It supplies more than 250m litres of cooking oils to customers across the UK food industry each year and in 2022 became the first UK company to sign the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto, an initiative put together by the RSPO and IDH.
‘Not a case of greenwashing’
Gary Lewis, sales director at KTC, said that the company is going against the grain by promoting palm oil, a product that the food industry has previously “shied away” from.
“Switching from palm to alternatives doesn’t reduce deforestation or protect biodiversity,” said Lewis.
“It simply moves the problems to another part of the world and can make them significantly worse.”
Lewis was keen to point out that launch was not a case of “greenwashing” and instead framed the brand as doing something that has “never been done before” by promoting the use of palm oil.
“Palm oil is the world’s most efficient oil crop, and when customers choose the right certified products, palm oil can be a responsible, sustainable option,” he continued.
“In 2019, 70% of the total palm oil imports to the UK were certified sustainable – today, although there has been limited further progress, that number is similar because of the pandemic, food inflation, price increases, and legislative challenges. We want Planet Palm to help restart progress on the adoption of certified sustainable, segregated palm oil in the UK, as we strive for 100% sustainability.”
Meanwhile, Francesca Morgante, Senior Manager Europe at the RSPO said that the body welcomes initiatives by its members to promote the use of sustainable palm oil.
“We are pleased that KTC as a long-lasting member is disseminating positive messages in the market, helping their customers to make certified sustainable choices themselves,” Morgante added.