Palm Oil Free List

A list of some UK products which are palm oil free or only use sustainable palm oil, from Ethical Consumer.

Palm oil is said to be found in 50% of supermarket products, from food to cleaners to cosmetics. It is a type of vegetable oil derived from palm oil fruit. This controversial ingredient may be present in some form in nearly every room of your home. It is widely used for its properties and because it is cheap. Its low price is partly due to its high yield, but also because, as with other mass produced crops, the environmental and social costs go unaccounted for.

Its production destroys rainforests and biodiversity. The plight of orangutans has been a key feature of palm oil campaigns, due to 80% of their habitat being destroyed in the last 20 years and the serious risk they face of extinction in our lifetime.

Image: Deforestation palm oil
Deforestation caused by Palm Oil Plantations, credit: Mighty Earth.

Social impacts are also wide ranging, and economic gains are far from evenly distributed. More than 20 million people, comprising hundreds of distinct language groups, depend on Indonesia’s forests. Many traditional communities have lost their lands to plantations.

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

Which products contain palm oil?

The following products are just some of the products likely to contain palm oil:

Spotting Palm Oil Derivatives

Much of the palm oil we consume appears in a number of processed forms, ‘derivatives’ of the oil itself.

These 500 or so different substances make up about 60% of global palm oil use. The names obscure the source, so it is hard to tell if you are consuming a product from palm oil or not.

Image: palm oil derivatives
Credit: Selva Beat

But, as palm oil campaign site Selva Beat says: “the ultimate trick to being able to spot palm-oil derivatives in most things lies in recognising the building blocks”.

Memorising the four words below will help you spot over half of the fatty acid compounds that are often made from palm oil. Spotting an ingredient whose name includes one of these root words does not mean it is definitely made from palm, but is a clue which can be followed up by contacting the company.

There is a long list of some of the alternative names for palm oil derivatives on the Orangutan Foundation website. Again this doesn't mean that all these ingredients are definitely palm oil, (for instance E471 may be palm oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil or canola oil), but they could be.

Palm Oil Free List

We've put together a list of companies which receive our best rating for palm oil, either for being a palm oil free company or for using best practices in their sourcing.

For example, a company must have all of the possible palm products used in its global supply chain certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) plus something extra like full disclosure of volumes, suppliers, or traceability to the mill. Or else a high proportion certified and even more other positive initiatives.

The higher proportion of palm sourced from segregated supply chains, the easier it is for a company to achieve our best rating.

Another way companies can demonstrate engagement on this issue is by sourcing palm oil that is certified as organic.

Plus, we list the products from the best-rated companies that are palm oil free.

(Those brands rated best for palm oil are not necessarily rated best for overall corporate responsibility.)

Supermarkets

Best rating for Palm Oil:  

  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • Marks and Spencer, all RSPO certified
  • Sainsbury's, all RSPO certified

Iceland has stated, "By the end of 2018, 100% of our own brand food will contain no palm oil. We are the first UK supermarket to commit to removing palm oil from all own brand food." When we are sure that this commitment has been implemented we will update Iceland's rating.

See supermarkets guide for companies' overall rating. 

Biscuits

Palm oil free biscuits:

Most likely those biscuits that are 'all butter' or the more expensive 'cookies'.

Company
 

Palm Oil Free Products
Island Bakery All biscuits, buy from Planet Organic*
Traidcraft Half coated Chocolate Shortbread Finger, Geobakes Shortbread Biscuits, Shortbread Rounds. Buy these from Ethical Superstore*
Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Milk, Dark and Orange Chocolate, Leibniz Butter, Leibniz Zoo, Choco Moments, Buy online from Waitrose*
Walkers All shortbread, plus All Butter Sultana, Gingerbread Man Tin, Mini Oat Biscuits, Mini Belgian Choc Chip, Oat Shortbread, all 'Thins'. 
Waitrose

all Waitrose 1 biscuits except Belgian white chocolate & lemon biscuits, all Waitrose Duchy Organic biscuits

Plus: Mini oat biscuits, Continental dark chocolate butter biscuits, Continental milk chocolate butter biscuits, Viennese vanilla swirls, All butter vanilla Viennese swirls, Chocolate Viennese fingers, Butter almond Viennese swirls, Belgian Double Chocolate Cookies. Buy online from Waitrose*

M&S  All varieties of ‘All Butter Cookies’. All shortbread.

Plus: White Chocolate & Sicilian Lemon Cookies, Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies, Sticky Ginger & Lemon Drizzle Cookies, Viennese Milk Chocolate Dipped Fingers, All Butter Viennese Swirls, Mini Oat Biscuits, All Butter Biscuits, Strawberries & Cream Drizzle Cookies, Milk Chocolate, Pecan & Salted Caramel Florentines, All Butter Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers, Belgian Milk Chocolate Florentines, Belgian Dark Chocolate & Ginger Florentines, Belgian Chocolate Chunk Cookie

All the products of the following company are palm oil free:

  • Island Bakery, palm oil free company

The following companies also make biscuits that contain RSPO certified sustainable, Fairtrade or organic palm oil:

  • Against the Grain, all organic palm oil 
  • Doves Farm, all organic palm oil 
  • Duchy Organic, all organic palm oil 
  • Traidcraft, use FairPalm (its own fairly traded palm oil)
  • Bahlsen, all RSPO certified
  • Walkers, all RSPO certified
  • M&S, all RSPO certified
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • Mrs Crimble's, all RSPO certified
  • Fox's, all RSPO certified
  • Burton's Biscuits (Jammie Dodgers, Lyons, Maryland, The Edinburgh Bakery, Viscount, Wagon Wheels), all RSPO certified

See our biscuits product guide to see how the companies compare on their overall corporate responsibility. 

Bread

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Company Palm Oil Free Products
Biona all bread, Buy from Planet Organic*
Weight Watchers all bread
Warburtons Danish White, all gluten free bread
Waitrose all Waitrose 1 bread, Essential Wholemeal medium sliced, Duchy Organic Wholemeal Batch and Wholemeal seeded bloomer, Wholemeal Farmhouse medium, Wholemeal & Rye Cob, Malted Grain Cob, Sunflower & Pumpkin Cob, Ancient Grains & Oat Cob, Light Rye Boule, White Boule, Seeded Spelt Wheat, Ancient Grains Loaf, Stonebaked Grand Mange, Duchy Organic seeded brown bloomer, Duchy Organic Wholemeal bloomer

The following companies also make bread that contain RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil:

  • M&S, all RSPO certified
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • Jackson's, all RSPO certified
  • Weight Watchers, all RSPO certified
  • Warburtons, all RSPO certified

See our bread product guide to see how the companies compare on their overall corporate responsibility.

Pet Food

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Palm Oil Free Products

Ami, Beco, Benevo, Yarrah, Burns, Meowing Heads, Harringtons, Wagg, Barking Heads, V-Dog, Applaws, Encore, Lily's Kitchen, Eukanuba, Iams 

Buy Beco and Lily's Kitchen online via Waitrose*

The following company uses RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in their pet food:

  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified

See our dog food guide and cat food guide to see how the companies compare on their overall corporate responsibility.

Nut Butters

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Company  Palm Oil Free Products
Suma    all palm oil free, all organic, some Fairtrade too
Meridian all palm oil free, some organic, buy from Planet Organic
Whole Earth

 100% Peanuts organic*

Biona all palm oil free, all organic, buy from Planet Organic*
Raw Health

all palm oil free, all organic

Essential all palm oil free, all organic. Buy from the Ethical Superstore

All the products of the following company are palm oil free:

  • Meridian, palm oil free company 

The following companies also make nut butters that contain RSPO certified sustainable palm oil:

  • Whole Earth, all RSPO certified
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • M&S, all RSPO certified

Chocolate Spread

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Company Palm Oil Free Products
Waitrose 1 Dark Chocolate Spread, buy from Waitrose* 
Mr Organic    all palm oil free and organic and dairy free 
Biona all palm oil free and organic, buy from Planet Organic* 

All the products of the following company are palm oil free:

  • Mr Organic, Palm oil free company 

The following companies also make chocolate spread that contain RSPO certified sustainable, Fairtrade or organic palm oil:

  • Plamil, uses organic & RSPO certified
  • Essential, all RSPO certified
  • Traidcraft, uses Fairpalm (its own fairly traded palm oil)
  • Vivani, all organic & RSPO certified
  • Nutella, all RSPO certified
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • M&S, all RSPO certified

Chocolate bars, snack bars, boxes and gift chocolates

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Company Palm Oil Free Products
Divine All chocolate (After Dinner thins, Chocolate Bar Selection, Belgian Chocolate Collection) buy from Ethical Shop*
Booja Booja all chocolate (truffles) buy from Waitrose*
Cocoa Loco all chocolate go to their online shop
Montezuma all gift chocolate go to their online shop
Seed & Bean all chocolate  buy from Ethical Shop*

Chocolat Madagascar

all chocolate

Pacari

all chocolate, buy from Planet Organic*

Madecasse

all chocolate

Moo Free

all chocolate*

The Raw Chocolate Company

all chocolate, buy from Planet Organic*

Plamil

all chocolate*
Vivani most chocolate is palm oil free except Espresso Biscotti and Milky Creme bars, buy from Planet Organic*
M&S

Bars and Snack Bars:

Dark Chocolate with Ginger, White Chocolate Mountain Bar, Dark Chocolate Mountain Bar, Milk Swiss Chocolate Mountain Bar, Fruit & Nut Milk Chocolate Mountain Bar, Extra Fine Swiss Dark Chocolate Discs, Extra Fine Milk Chocolate Discs, Extra Fine Milk Swiss Chocolate with Hazelnuts, Extra Fine Dark Swiss Chocolate, Extra Fine Milk Swiss Chocolate, Dark Chocolate 72%, Latte Coffee Kick Bar, Hazelnut Praline, Swiss Chocolate, The Dark One, The White One, Milk One, Turkish Delight, Dark Chocolate with Italian Orange, White Chocolate With Vanilla, Intense Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocoalte Single Origin Dominican Republic, White Chocolate, Raspberry & Matcha Bar, Single Origin Ecuadorian 72% Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Mint, Italian Milk Chocolate Gianduja, Italian Gianduja Bar with Whole Hazelnuts, Dark Choc S/O Madagascar 71%, Single Origin Colombian White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Slab, Sea Salt Caramels

M&S Gift Boxes:

Neapolitans, Milk Chocolate Truffles, Australian Milk Chocolate Coated Ginger, Assorted Chocolate Malt Balls, Marc de Champagne Truffles, Dulce de Leche Truffles, Cocoa Dusted Liquid Salted Caramels, Hand Decorated Nut & Fruit Mendiants, Peppermint Creams, Sparkling Caramels, Pink Marc De Champagne Truffles, Dark Chocolate Marzipan, Single Malt Whisky Truffles, Italian Gianduiotto, Gin Chocolate Collection, Swiss Chocolate After Dinner Collection

Waitrose All Waitrose 1 chocolate bars, Belgian fruit & nut milk chocolate, Chocolate ginger, Dark chocolate mint creams. Buy from the Waitrose website*. 

All the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

  • Booja Booja, palm oil free company
  • Divine, palm oil free company
  • Seed & Bean, palm oil free company
  • Montezuma, palm oil free company
  • Cocoa Loco, palm oil free company
  • Chocolat Madagascar, palm oil free company
  • Pacari, palm oil free company
  • Madecasse, palm oil free company
  • Moo Free, palm oil free company
  • The Raw Chocolate Company, palm oil free company

The following companies also make chocolate that may contain RSPO certified sustainable, Fairtrade or organic palm oil:

  • Biona, organic palm oil
  • Vivani, organic palm oil
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • M&S, all RSPO certified

Read our ethical shopping guide chocolate for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

Butter, Margarine & Spreads

The following brands have palm oil free products: 

Company Palm Oil Free Products
Yeo Valley all butter and spreadable butter. Buy Yeo Valley from Planet Organic* 
M&S    all butters and Slightly Salted spreadable butter 
Waitrose   all butter including Duchy Organic. Buy from Waitrose

There are no margarines and spreads that are palm oil free, only butters and spreadable butter. So those avoiding dairy should choose a product from one of the five companies getting our best rating for palm oil.

The following companies also make butters & spreads that contain RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil:

  • Suma, all RSPO certified
  • Biona, all organic & RSPO certified
  • Yeo Valley, all RSPO certified
  • Waitrose, all RSPO certified
  • M&S, all RSPO certified

Read our ethical shopping guide to spreads for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Breakfast Cereals

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company Palm Oil Free Products
      Rude Health  all cereals. Buy from Ethical Superstore*
       MOMA  all cereals
       Infinity Foods  all cereals. Buy from Planet Organic*
      Hodmedod's  all cereals
      Alara all cereals. Buy porridge oats from Planet Organic*
      Essential all cereals
      Doves Farm all Freee gluten free cereals*
      Kallo  all cereals
      Whole Earth  Cornflakes, Maple Frosted Flakes, Muesli. Buy from Ethical Superstore*
      Mornflakes  all oats and mueslis
      Suma De Luxe, Fruit Burst, Multigrain gluten free, Nutty Crunch, Simple Base and Swiss Twist mueslis; Berry Burst, Cacoa Crumble, Nutty Crumble granolas. Buy from Ethical Superstore
      Traidcraft GeoMuesli Fruit & Nut
      Amisa all cereals except Spelt Crunchy. Buy from Planet Organic
      Biona Amaranth Pops, Honey Hazel Granola*, Amaranth Wild Berry Museli, Fruit Muesli
      Biofair Quinoa Pops

      All the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Rude Health, palm oil free company
      • MOMA, palm oil free company
      • Infinity Foods, palm oil free company
      • Hodmedod's, palm oil free company

      The following companies also make cereal that contain RSPO certified sustainable, Fairtrade or organic palm oil:

      • Traidcraft, all Fairpalm (It's own fairly traded palm oil)
      • Amisa, all organic palm oil
      • Biona, all organic & RSPO certified
      • Biofair, organic palm oil
      • Doves Farm, organic palm oil
      • Kallo, all RSPO certified
      • Whole Earth, all RSPO certified
      • Mornflake, all RSPO certified
      • Suma, all RSPO certified

      Read our ethical shopping guide to breakfast cereals for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Shampoo

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Odylique  all products
       Caurnie Soap   all products
       Honesty   all products
      A Vogel all shampoo
      Lush all shampoo
      Suma all shampoo
      Pure Nuff Stuff   all shampoo 

      All the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Odylique, palm oil free company
      • Caurnie Soap, palm oil free company
      • Honesty, palm oil free company
      • Pure Nuff Stuff, palm oil free company

      The following companies also use RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil in their shampoo:

      • Bentley Organics, all organic palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to shampoo for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Soap

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Suma  all soap*
       Lucy Bee  all products
       Odylique  all products
      Caurnie Soap all products
      Friendly Soap all products - buy from Ethical Superstore
      Earth Friendly Products  all products - buy from Ethical Superstore*
      Pure Nuff Stuff all products
      Zaytoun all products
      Honesty all products
      Lush all soap

      All of the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Lucy Bee, palm oil free company
      • Odylique, palm oil free company
      • Caurnie, palm oil free company
      • Friendly Soap, palm oil free company
      • Earth Friendly Products, palm oil free company
      • Pure Nuff Stuff, palm oil free company
      • Zaytoun, palm oil free company
      • Honesty, palm oil free company

      The following company uses Fairtrade palm oil in their soap:

      • Traidcraft, uses Fairpalm (It's own fairly traded palm oil)

      Read our ethical shopping guide to soap for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Make Up

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Odylique  all products

      All of the products of the following company are palm oil free:

      • Odylique, palm oil free company

      The following companies may use RSPO certified or sustainable palm oil in their make-up:

      • Dr Hauschka, RSPO certified
      • Lush, sustainable palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to make up for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Perfume

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Neal's Yard   all perfumes*
      Dolma all products
      Fairypants all products
      Neom all products. Buy from Planet Organic
      Flaya all products

      All of the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Dolma, palm oil free company
      • Fairypants, palm oil free company
      • Neom, palm oil free company
      • Flaya, palm oil free company

      The following company uses sustainable palm oil in their perfume:

      • Lush, sustainable palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to perfume for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Skincare

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Odylique  all products
      Caurnie Soap  all products
      Honesty all products
      Pure Nuff Stuff  all products

      Amaranthine

      all products

      A Vogel all skincare
      Lucy Bee all products

      All of the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Odylique, palm oil free company
      • Caurnie, palm oil free company
      • Honesty, palm oil free company
      • Pure Nuff Stuff, palm oil free company
      • Amaranthine, palm oil free company
      • Lucy Bee, palm oil free company

      The following companies may use RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil in their skincare:

      • Bentley Organics, all organic palm oil 
      • Dr. Hauschka, RSPO certified
      • Lush, sustainable palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to skincare for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Shaving Gel & Foam

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Friendly Soap   all products*
      Pure Nuff Stuff  all products

      All of the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Friendly Soap, palm oil free company
      • Pure Nuff Stuff, palm oil free company

      The following company uses sustainable palm oil in their shaving gel & foam:

      • Lush, sustainable palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to shaving gel & foam for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Shower Gel

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Odylique  all products
      Caurnie Soap all products
      Pure Nuff Stuff  all products
      Honesty all products
      Lush all shower gel 

      All of the products of the following companies are palm oil free:

      • Odylique, palm oil free company
      • Caurnie, palm oil free company
      • Honesty, palm oil free company
      • Pure Nuff Stuff, palm oil free company

      Read our ethical shopping guide to shower gel for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Toothpaste

      The following brands have palm oil free products: 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      A Vogel  all toothpaste
      Lush  all Toothy Tabs

      No palm oil free companies.

      Read our ethical shopping guide to toothpaste for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Deodorant

      No palm oil free products companies in this guide.

      The following companies may use RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil in their deodorant:

      • Dr Hauschka, all RSPO certified
      • Lush, sustainable palm oil

      Read our ethical shopping guide to deodorant for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      Laundry Detergents 

      Company    Palm Oil Free Products  
      Earth Friendly Products (ECOS brand)   all products*

      All of the products of the following company are palm oil free:

      • Earth Friendly Products, palm oil free company

      The following companies may use RSPO certified sustainable or organic palm oil in their laundry detergents:

      • Sodasan, certified RSPO or organic
      • Suma, all RSPO certified
      • Sonett, all RSPO certified

      Read our ethical shopping guide to laundry detergents for companies' overall rating for corporate responsibility.

      How we rate companies for Palm Oil policy

      Companies will receive one of the following ratings in our Palm Oil column on our scorecards:

      Worst rating

      Companies using no or minimal certified palm products, and with no or minimal positive commitments score a worst rating.

      Middle rating

      The minimum that needs to be achieved for a middle rating is a fully certified supply chain, or a partially certified supply chain with other positive commitments met, such as disclosure of suppliers.

      Best rating

      • Companies able to demonstrate a fully certified supply chain for all palm ingredients used by the whole company group, and who also declare suppliers and volumes will receive a best rating.
      • Companies that are palm oil free - using neither palm oil (CPO), palm kernel oil (PKO) nor palm derivatives - will also receive a best rating.

      Consumer Power 

      As consumers we need to use our power at the check out to continue to drive change in the palm oil industry. Pushing companies to buy certified sustainable palm oil is one clear way of doing this.

      There is a growing recognition that even if all the big western manufacturers stopped using palm oil, the problems of unsustainable production would not go away.

      India and China each consume more palm oil than the EU, and production is projected to increase 50% by 2020. At the same time, Indonesia has just increased subsidies to boost palm oil production for biofuel.

      If countries with more developed consumer campaigns turn away from palm oil altogether, the most damaging forms of production may prevail.

      Buy or Boycott?

      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 50% of packaged supermarket products from margarine and oven chips to soaps and detergents. 

      We are urging readers to boycott products from companies that aren't using 100% responsibly sourced palm oil now. Promising to source responsibly in the future is no longer good enough. You may also choose to avoid products containing any palm oil, whether it be sustainably sourced or not.

      Listen our podcast episode on Palm Oil where we answer your consumer questions:

      *We have an affiliate deal with this shop. Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from your purchase. This goes to fund our research and campaigning. We ethically screen all the sites we link to.

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