Waitrose achieved a challenging target to use 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil by the end of 2012 meaning the palm oil used to make all our groceries is only from certified sustainable sources. This includes palm oil, palm kernel oil and its derivatives.
Some of our groceries also feature the RSPO Trademark, making it easy to see that our products are made using sustainable oil. In 2011, Waitrose soap became the first own-label product range in the UK to carry the logo and it now also features on our spreads.
Senior Technologist Riyaz Dhalla, who has been responsible for the implementation of the Waitrose palm oil strategy, said “We made it a priority to ensure that we could reach our target of using 100% sustainable palm oil by the end of 2012. This is a really important issue for us and our customers and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for customers when choosing products in our shops - this is one less decision that needs to be made.”
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is an important and versatile raw material for both the food and non-food industries, accounting for more than 28m tonnes of the world's annual 95m tonnes of vegetable oil. However, as oil palm can only be cultivated in the tropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America, there are concerns that the soaring global demand is causing the expansion of some plantations into eco-sensitive areas.
For this reason the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) was set up as a global, multi-stakeholder forum to encourage the sustainable production and use of palm oil. Waitrose has been a Retailer member of the RSPO since 2006.
For all Waitrose food, drink and other products we use only 100% RSPO certified palm oil. This has been the case since December 2012.
As a responsible retailer we aim to source ingredients with the least possible impact on the environment. We recognise that with rising demand it is essential that palm oil is sourced from sustainable plantations to ensure we do not contribute to the destruction of high value conservation forests, threatening biodiversity as well as livelihoods of local communities.