Palm Oil Free Products

The Problem with Palm Oil


Demand for palm oil has undergone phenomenal growth in recent years and is expected to more than double by 2030 and triple by 2050.

Increased production has involved the clearing of virgin forest and peatlands in South East Asia, spelling disaster for local communities, biodiversity and climate change. Indonesia alone already has over 6 million hectares of plantations.

The demand is fed by the food and cosmetics industries, and increasing for use in biofuels. 

Consumers increasingly want to avoid the ingredient where possible, but it's a tricky task as it's used in so many products - more than 10% of supermarket products from margarine and oven chips to soaps and detergents.  




'Palm Oil Free' Product List

With your help we've begun compiling a 'palm oil free' list. You can help us to grow it by:

emailing our News Editor address 

posting in the Forum

with details of any products that are palm oil free and we'll add them to the list. 


All the products listed receive our best rating for their palm oil sourcing policy. Not all are 'palm oil free', those that are not have reference to their policy in brackets.


Baby Food  
also see our baby food buyers' guide  
Ella's Kitchen  
Plum Baby (uses organically certified palm oil)
Peter Rabbit (PR Organics Ltd) (uses organically certified palm oil)
So Baby  
Truuuly Scrumptious (Kealth Foods Ltd)  
also see our biscuits buyers' guide  
Aristan (palm oil from sustainable sources)
Biona (Windmill) (organical palm oil from sustainable sources)
Cereal Bars  
also see our cereal bar buyers' guide  
Burton's Foods (100% Green Palm certificated)
Dove's Farm (sustainable, organic, non GM)
GranoVita (palm oil from sustainable sources)
Ma Baker  
Paterson's Oatcakes  
Traidcraft (Green Palm scheme sustainable sources)
Chocolate Bars  
also see our chocolate bar buyers' guide  
Divine and Dubble  
Lindt & Sprüngli solid bars  
RSPB Fairtrade & Organic (palm oil from sustainable sources)
Traidcraft chocolate  
Windmill (organic oil from Pro Forest certified sustainable source)
Pet Food  
also see our pet food buyers' guide  
also see our shampoo buyers' guide  
Caurnie Soap company  
Faith in Nature (some commitments, small ethical company)
Green people (some commitments, small ethical company)
Healthquest international (some commitments, small ethical company)
Lavera (certified sustainable)
Marks & Spencer (purchases Green Palm Certificates for palm oil used in M&S products)
Natural Spa Supplies  
Neal's Yard (certified sustainable)
Pure Nuff Stuff  
Triangle wholefoods  
Weleda (certified sustainable from Ecocert)
also see our soap buyers' guide  
Beyond Organic skin care  
Body Shop soap (sustainably sourced)
Earth Warrior soap  
Handmade Norfolk Soap  



Ethical Consumer Palm Oil Scoring Policy

If a company uses palm oil in its products and none of the conditions listed below are met, it will lose half marks in our rating system in the categories of climate change, habitats & resources and human rights.


If a company is a producer or major trader of palm oil, it will lose full marks in these categories. This is due to the massive environmental and social impacts of palm oil production.  For further information on these impacts, see reading list below.


We do not take into account future commitments to source sustainable palm oil as a result of the fact that the negative effects of palm oil production have been apparent for at least five years: The RSPO published its Principles & Criteria for sustainable palm oil production in 2005.


A company will not lose marks in the above categories if one of the following applies:

1) It does not use palm oil
2) It only uses certified organic palm oil
3) It only uses Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)
4) It purchases GreenPalm certificates for 100% of its palm oil
5) It is a small company (turnover below £5 million) providing ethical alternatives that has made some commitment to sustainable palm oil use
6) It is a company providing ethical alternatives that avoids palm oil where possible, whose palm oil suppliers are members of the RSPO, and who provides the name of its suppliers to Ethical Consumer.


Related Articles


"Don't buy palm oil", Ethical Consumer, May/June 2010, Issue 112. 

"Sustainable Palm Oil", Ethical Consumer, May/June 2008, Issue 124.


External Links

"How the palm oil industry is Cooking the Climate", Greenpeace, November 2007. 

"A fresh approach to delivering sustainability", GreenPalm, 2009.

"Losing Ground: The human rights impacts of oil palm plantation expansion in Indonesia", Friends of the Earth, LifeMosaic and Sawit Watch, February 2008.

"The flow of palm oil Colombia- Belgium/Europe: A study from a human rights perspective", Human Rights Everywhere, November 2006.

"Regional perspectives on plantations: An overview on Western and Central Africa", World Rainforest Movement briefing, December 2008.

"Illegal forest clearance and RSPO greenwash: Case studies of Sinar Mas", Greenpeace, February 2009.

Palm Oil Action

Rainforest Action Network












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