Discussion Forums

The forums are open for viewing, but closed to new registrations.

To post or start a new topic you need to be a subscriber or already registered.

Click on a forum name to see the list of topics beneath it. 

Click on a topic name to see the posts and comments.

Companies Responses To Being Questioned ABout Their Palm Oil Usage
Last Post 04/07/2013 13:01:46 by heatheradmin. 1 Replies.
Printer Friendly
PrevPrev NextNext
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages Informative
FaithCanter New Member New Member Posts:2
02/07/2013 10:53:43
    Hi there,
    I'm new to this, but have been compiling a list of responses from various different companies to their use of Palm Oil.
    I thought it was important to share this on here as some of the companies are listed on this site.
    The responses are all copied and pasted (without changes) from emails responses to the following question-
    "Could you tell me if you use Palm Oil and if you do if it's 100% sustainably sourced?"

    I update this list every week (at 'Lets Make This World A Better Place' Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/645860645431054?id=645860645431054&sk=notes) with new responses (I am still awaiting additional responses to the below from Holland & Barrett & Neal's Yard, as I am not happy with their responses):

    Fig & Rouge:
    Hi Faith,
    Thanks for your enquiry.
    We don`t use Palm oil in any of our products.
    Mainly Vegetable Oils & Sunflower Oils.
    Hope this helps.....
    Brilliant Fig & Rouge! =0)

    Acure Organics:
    Hi Faith!
    Thank you for your interest in ACURE! The only palm oil we use in our formulas comes from the fruit of the Babassu palm (Sustainable) trees in South America. The products in our line that contain babassu oil include:
    Sensitive Skin Moisturize
    Pure Mint + Echinacea Intense Volume Shampoo & Conditione
    Exfoliating Body Wash
    Thank you for contacting us! Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
    Good to hear Acure, but maybe lose it all together? =0)

    Napiers of Edinburgh:
    Hi Faith,
    I have checked and none of the Napiers branded products contain Palm Oil. We use Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil and Sunflower Oil across our range. However if you would like to tell me any specific products that your interested in, i will happily tell you which Oil these contain.
    Well done Napiers, great stuff! =0)

    Dear Faith,
    Thanks for your email, please excuse the delay in my reply. I'm pleased to hear that you are interested in Lush and the ingredients we use. We love to create fresh, handmade products that are kind to the skin, as well as the environment and animals.
    We have recently eliminated palm oil as an ingredient in all of our products. However when it comes to other ingredients, for example vegetable oil (which both stearic acid and cetearyl alcohol are derived from), this is a little trickier for us at the moment. By law, many different types of vegetable based oils (including palm) can be grouped together under the blanket term of vegetable oil, without specifying exactly which are used. This is the case for all companies producing consumer products, not only cosmetics, but for food also,
    I can assure you that we are currently trying to find alternative ingredients, but at present we are unable to guarantee that all of our products are completely free of palm oil or any derivatives. This is mainly due to our current suppliers being unable to produce what we need in a suitable method, and potential suppliers that we are unable to use at the moment as they cannot sign our non animal testing policy. We do promise, however, that we will never use it as a separate ingredient.
    Thank you for taking the time to get in touch. I would like to assure you that we really appreciate all customer comments and take all feedback seriously. We are working very hard to completely eliminate this ingredient from our products, but the process is very long and difficult.
    Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries or feedback.
    Kind Regards,
    Nicolas Copeland
    Thanks for being so honest Lush, but you have a long way to go in my mind before your practicing what your preaching!

    Thank you for your recent email.
    The production of palm oil can have significant and lasting environmental and social impacts. Addressing these impacts in a constructive way requires cooperation from producers (including farmers, cooperatives and post-harvest processors), the food industry, governments and civil society. Kraft Foods is committed to working with all of these stakeholders to develop a viable supply of sustainable palm oil.
    We do not buy crude palm oil - we buy fats derived from palm oil. Kraft Foods purchases less than 0.6% of worldwide production. We are concerned about the potential long-term environmental and social impacts of tropical deforestation. This is why we participate in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to develop and enforce standards for sustainable palm oil production.
    The company is also purchasing GreenPalm certificates and RSPO-segregated certified sustainable palm oil to cover part of our use of palm oil. In 2011, this constitutes approximately 50% of Kraft Foods’ global palm oil use (up from more 25% in 2010) and the company is looking to increase these volumes going forward as sustainable palm oil becomes more available. We expect to be able to cover 100 percent of our purchases once the supply of certified palm oil accounts for about one-third of the world’s total supply. We expect our suppliers to reach this goal by 2015. We are working with the World Wildlife Fund to evaluate options.
    For Cadbury Dairy Milk products, we’re covering all of its palm oil use with GreenPalm certificates and also purchasing some segregated palm oil in the UK and elsewhere. In November 2011, we were pleased that WWF scored Cadbury highly (9/9) as part of their Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard based on our current policies and plans for the future.
    I do hope this answers your email and I thank you for taking time to contact us.
    Kind regards
    Christine Baldwin
    Come in Cadbury’s, you’re a huge company, with tons of customers, you can do better than this! =0(

    Dear Ms Stratton
    Thank you for getting in touch about Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.
    Heinz is on track to convert to 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2013.
    In 2010, Heinz converted our largest global palm oil usage to segregated certified palm oil sources from a new plant in The Netherlands. As a result, Heinz began using segregated certified sustainable palm oil in manufacturing frozen potato products at our Westwick factory. Heinz also reduced our palm oil usage in North America through product reformulation to enhance product health and wellness.
    In addition, Heinz is in the process of reducing our global demand for palm oil by 25% in Fiscal Year 2012 (versus the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2011). Our goal is to use palm oil in new products only when there is no technical or commercial alternative. We are also reformulating existing recipes to incorporate alternative environmentally responsible sources.
    Heinz will also promote the use of palm oil from sustainable sources through our membership in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This not-for-profit association brings together stakeholders — including palm oil producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation non-government organizations (NGOs), and social or developmental NGOs — to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
    Kind Regards
    Geoff Kearsley
    Heinz, you can do better! =0(

    Edinburgh Skin Care:
    Hi Faith.
    I do use Palm Oil but only certified eco-sustainable.
    Tommy Crooks
    Good Edinburgh Skin Care =0)

    Just Be Botanicals:
    Hi Faith,
    I can thankfully confirm that the entire JustBe range does not contain Palm Oil.
    Kind regards,
    Great stuff Just Be! =0)

    Holland & Barrett:
    Dear Faith Canter, Thank you for your enquiry regarding the use of Palm Oil. Firstly may I apologise for the delay in replying to you. We are currently undergoing a full audit on all of our suppliers of raw material in order to establish where we have sources that are not certified as sustainable and replace them with such approved products or alternative ingredients if they are available within the manufacturing process of each product. Due to the number of materials and products this affects it is taking some time to complete but we are aspiring to be using only certifiable sources or alternatives in all products. I hope you find this information helpful. Yours sincerely Lin Pearson Customer Service Team. NBTY Europe. The home of Holland & Barrett, GNC, Nature's Way and De Tuinen.
    So currently they are using Palm Oil in their products and it’s also not sustainable, which very disappointing for another company is claiming to be environmentally friendly.

    Neal's Yard:
    Dear Faith,
    Thank you for your email and I would like to reassure you that we always take the feedback of our customers seriously and your email has been forward to our Head of Sustainability for their information.
    I have also attached information on our position regarding Palm oil which I hope will give you reassuring information. Also please find below a quote from the “Ethical Consumer” magazine published in October 2012.
    The attachment basically said that they do use Palm Oil but where 'possible' it's 100% sustainable and organic. And even though I have chased them up twice since I still do not have a reply from their Head of Sustainability as promised above. I am disappointed in Neal's Yard as they claim to be environmental friendly- which from this response doesn't way-up =0(

    Green Tulip:
    "Sorry - meant to add Palm Oil is a very contentious issue! As I'm sure you know it isn't the ingredient that is the issue, rather the unsustainable way it is being grown in some countries. We stock candles with a mix of natural waxes including Palm Oil Wax, but the Palm Oil supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. We also stock some soaps with Palm Oil but these are being phased out to make way for our new range - Emma's Soap - which is Palm Oil free. So it is something we are aware of and we ask our suppliers a lot of questions about how they source their products. I hope this helps but do let us know if you have any further questions..."
    Green Tulip then said "Our position is making sure we share a lot of information with customers who are interested (which is why we have the Ethics tab with additional information in). We know not all the products we sell are perfect but we are confident they are better than the majority of what the big retailers sell. And that in a small way we are helping the suppliers who are trying to make a difference by selling their products" when I made a further comment.
    Disappointed in Green Tulip as they claim to be Ethical all over their website, but the above says otherwise in my mind! =0(

    Hedgwitch Soaps (facebook page only):
    100% palm oil free and donates 10p from every item sold to ORANGUTAN APPEAL UK
    Well done Hedgewitch Soaps, we salute you! =0)

    Good morning Faith and thanks for your email
    Some of our products use palm oil derivatives within their ingredient make up, but not pure palm oil.
    We are very aware of issues surrounding palm oil and although we as a company don't use huge quantities we have taken all possible steps to support sourcing of sustainable palm oil - so much so we buy into the GreenPalm scheme headed by the RSPO http://www.greenpalm.org/
    Please let me know if you need further information
    Kind Regards
    Hi Faith
    As far as we are aware all of the palm oil we use (which as below isn’t a huge amount) is from sustainable sources
    Kind regards
    Could do better Ecover, especially considering the sort of company you are!

    Astonish Cleaners
    Astonish: Hi Lucy, yes, you are correct, no palm oil is used in any of the ingredients, i will check with the lab about any traces but I am 99% sure there won't be any... I will reply again tomorrow. Thanks Lucy! Lucy: did you hear back from the lab yet? Astonish: Hi Lucy, I am sorry, but not had the official answer from the lab as they have been really busy this week, I promise as soon as I hear back I shall post their comments on this strand, thanks again! Astonish: Hi Lucy Stratton, I have had a reply from the lab and there is no Palm Oil in any of our products, no traces of palm oil either! Thanks for asking.
    Great job Astonish – If I didn’t make most of my own cleaners I’d be buying them from you! =0)

    Naturally Active Skincare Liz Earle Hello Lucy. We do not actively use palm oil in our products. However, we are aware that derivatives of palm oil are contained in some of the ingredients we use and so we can confirm that we are members of an ‘off-setting’ scheme called Green Palm. We believe that developing the source of palm oil to become more sustainable is possible and ensures that we are working to use this raw material responsibly, in line with our philosophy of ‘progress not perfection’. "
    Disappointing Naturally Active Skincare!

    Sainsbury’s (Own branded items)
    Thank you for your email. I understand you are concerned about the use of palm oil in the products we sell. We are aware palm oil cultivation is a contributor to deforestation and climate change, and has a direct impact on the natural habitat of orangutans and other wildlife. I am grateful for the opportunity to explain our position. I would like to assure you we are committed to sourcing with integrity, it is one of our core values. It is important to us that the palm oil used in our products is sourced from plantations which can demonstrate they have not endangered tropical rainforests. At the same time, we appreciate the economic contribution palm oil makes to many disadvantaged communities in growing regions, and we understand the need to support these communities to produce sustainable palm oil. Over 10 years ago, we could see the expansion of palm oil plantations was causing rapid and uncontrolled destruction of rainforests in South East Asia. This led to an informal gathering of a number of global palm oil growers and processors, including us, to discuss how to respond to this difficult challenge. A year later, that gathering led to the formation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO is a global initiative which encourages palm oil production in a way that helps to reduce deforestation, promotes biodiversity and respects the livelihoods of rural communities. The RSPO was tasked with developing a growing standard for sustainable palm oil. This was finalised in 2007, and in 2008 the first plantation was independently certified. In May 2008, our Basics fish fingers became the first British supermarket food product to be made with sustainable palm oil from the first RSPO certified plantation. Since then, we have also used sustainable palm oil in the rest of our frozen fish range, our standard bars of soap and most recently all our rich tea and digestive biscuits. We have set a goal of using only certified palm oil across our entire own brand product range by 2014. This was the first such public commitment, and since then many other retailers and brands have followed with similar targets. In the 2012 Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) Annual Report, the FFD was pleased to announce us as the leading, global food and drug retailer for certified sustainable sources of commodities, reflecting the efforts we have made to source sustainable palm oil. We have now been our sector leader every year since the FFD starting reporting in 2009. We believe customers should be able to see easily whether there is palm oil in our products. We were the first British supermarket to identify palm oil rather than ‘vegetable oil’ on the labels of all fresh and chilled food, and now show this on all of our food products. We have also developed our own logo to help customers identify easily where sustainable palm oil is being used in products so look out for this when you next visit our stores. There are considerable challenges involved in tracing and certifying palm oil as sustainable. The RSPO has made significant progress in overcoming these challenges, and we continue to support its work. We recognise there is a need to review the RSPO certification standard continually to ensure it is always thorough and robust. We therefore play an active part in encouraging the RSPO to make improvements and have an on-going training programme for our key suppliers to help tackle this complex problem. Through this work we now have over 50 per cent of our total physical palm oil use from RSPO certified sources. We also participate in the steering group of the Prince’s Rainforest Project (PRP), which aims to stop the destruction of rainforests. I am grateful to you for writing to us about this important issue and I hope I have been able to assure you of our commitment to the environment and sourcing with integrity. If you need more information please feel free to visit our website to view our Corporate Responsibility Report and our sustainability targets to reach by 2020 at www.j-sainsburys.co.uk. We look forward to seeing you in store again soon.
    Yours sincerely
    Stephen Bain | Customer Manager
    Let’s hope they do this in the next 6 months then =0)

    Dairy Crest (Vitalite etc)
    Dear Faith, Thank you for your email. We share the environmental concerns raised about the deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia in relation to palm oil production. We support the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and hold membership of this organisation. Dairy Crest uses a variety of vegetable oils in the manufacture of our dairy spread brands and as part of this process we do use some palm oil derivatives. These are supplied as fractions and at present are not all available from guaranteed sustainable sources. We buy these products from refiners and all our suppliers are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. We have been encouraging them to produce fractions from sustainable palm oil. We are aware of the Green Palm trading system and are currently evaluating the benefits of this scheme. We are also considering other options which may be more appropriate for us. Currently, our overall score on the World Wildlife Fund’s palm oil scorecard is 7/9. We are committed to reducing any negative effect our manufacturing processes may have on the environment and are taking steps to be more carbon conscious and climate friendly. A more sustainable business will not only improve the way we fulfil our responsibilities to society, but also support our vision of delivering better environmental solutions for the consumer as well as greater long-term shareholder value. Kind Regards Wendy Cruickshanks Could do much, much better Dairy Crest!

    Kerry Foods (Pure Dairy-Free Margarines)
    Good Morning Faith, Thank you for your enquiry. Kerry Foods is committed to using sustainable Palm Oil. As members of the 'Round table for sustainable palm oil' (RSPO), we are fully aware of the ecological and social impacts of deforestation and share the concern about the long-term consequences of this. With our customers, who have similar plans, we encourage moving to sustainable oil as soon as possible. As a business, we only source our Palm Oil from RSPO members and are working closely with them to ensure that in the future, our Palm oil is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, with our ultimate goal being to achieve 100% fully sustainable Palm Oil sourcing throughout our supply chain by 2015. Hope this information helps. Kindest Regards Helen The Pure Team
    Could do better Kerry Foods, but at least you’re doing something I guess!

    Waitrose (Own branded items)
    Thank you for your e-mail. We're absolutely committed to sourcing ingredients in the most ethical way possible. When it comes to palm oil, this commitment means we have the most challenging position in the industry. Part of this was to use 100% certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) by December 2012. We have achieved this through employing all the instruments recommended by the RSPO (62% of the palm oil used in our own label products is from Certified Segregated supply chains, 10% via Mass Balance Certified supply chains and the remainder is covered through purchase of Green Palm Certificates where Segregated or Mass Balance supply chains have yet to be established). This approach has ensured the palm oil used in our food is not contributing to the destruction of orangutan habitats. We recognise just how important it is that we move our palm oil supply to a more sustainable framework and have been working for a number of years to reach our challenging commitment. We were really pleased when in November 2011 this work was recognised by WWF, who awarded us 100% (nine out of nine) in their Palm Oil Scorecard for our commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. We are also the first UK retailer to use the official logo from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) on our products where palm oil is a significant ingredient in the formulation. The logo can be found on our bar soap range and our Spreads, which accounts for over 50% of our total palm oil use, allowing customers to see at a glance and that they can buy these products with confidence. We hope that this information will be of assistance to you. Regards, Chris Zawadzki Waitrose Customer Sales and Support.
    Certainly getter there Waitrose, best of all the Supermarkets, especially as your products are also GM free, but still some way to go!

    Boots (Own Branded Items)
    Dear Ms Canter Thanks for contacting us with regards to our own brand items and the enquiry about Palm oil. I do appreciate your enquiry and concerns on this matter and I hope I can help. First of all I can confirm, from previous contact of a similar nature, that Boots only use 100 percent sustainable ingredients and this is certified and checked on a twice yearly basis. However, with regards to your enquiry, I'll need you to confirm some specific item to check with our Product Teams as I'm unable to list all of our own brand items that do contain Palm oil. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us. If I can help in any other way please do not hesitate to contact me back. Kind regards Matthew Heath Boots Customer Care Team
    Is it bad I’m surprised Boots are addressing this? Well done Boots, no Palm Oil at all would be better, but this is still great from a large company.

    heatheradmin Senior Member Senior Member Posts:173
    04/07/2013 13:01:46
    Wow FaithCanter,

    This is an amazing piece of research. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I have sent this to other members of the team who may be interested in doing some work around your information.

    We will be in touch.

    Kind regards,


    You are not authorized to post a reply.


    30 day trial subscription

    Customisable ethical ratings for over 40,000 companies, brands and products, plus Ethical Consumer Magazine. The simple way to shop with confidence.

    Discover more