We're committed to sourcing ingredients in the most ethical way possible.
We’ve looked carefully at how best to source palm oil. For a long time palm oil production has been associated with negative social and environmental consequences, from deforestation to worker exploitation. We believe the best way to address these issues is to be part of the solution. That’s why we work with others along the palm oil supply chain to both source the palm oil for our own products sustainably, and to support progress towards a sustainable palm oil industry more widely.
What we do
Since 2006 we’ve been a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. Through our membership of the Retailer Palm Oil Group we now have a representative on the RSPO Board of Governors.
Wherever possible, we buy physically certified RSPO palm oil for our own-brand products. For any remaining palm oil, we purchase RSPO credits from certified producers, including smallholders. We have done this since 2012. This ensures we maintain our commitment to 100% certified palm oil and support the production of responsible palm while we work with suppliers to physically certify their palm-based products.
We are a member of the Retail Palm Oil Transparency Coalition, a group of retailers working together to develop approaches to manage issues beyond the current RSPO standard. The Coalition is developing tools to hold palm oil importers accountable for achieving zero deforestation commitments.
We report our progress annually in our Corporate Responsibility report.
Alternatives to palm oil
Although using other vegetable oils to replace palm oil seems like a positive solution, it comes with its own challenges and risks. Palm oil is the highest-yielding vegetable oil crop, producing 4-10 times more oil per hectare than any other crop, which makes it very efficient. Replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils could therefore easily result in environmental damage, with the risk that more forests would need to be converted into agricultural land.
In producing countries, millions of farmers work in the palm oil sector. Palm oil plays an important role in the reduction of poverty in these areas. In Indonesia and Malaysia, a total of 4.5 million people earn their living from palm oil production. Stopping the production of palm oil altogether would create problems for these people who support their families by working in this industry.