British Frozen Food store ‘Iceland’ is looking to ban Palm Oil in its own branded products by the end of 2018. One of the food retailers outside of the big four Supermarkets, feels that the production of Palm Oil in South East Asia, is not sustainable and in fact it’s their opinion that harvesting Palm Oil is having a devastating effect, which is why they have taken the decision.
They will still however continue to stock products by other brands that may contain Palm Oil but hope their decision might influence others. Iceland have also committed to removing plastic from its own branded products by 2023.
After the end of the year, their own products will carry a ‘No Palm Oil’ sticker, which features an image of an orangutan.
Chances are Palm Oil is found in many products found around the home, from Biscuits to Soap and Iceland were first alerted to the full details of Palm Oil harvesting by Greenpeace.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland has stated:
“Until Iceland can guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction, we are simply saying ‘no to palm oil’. We don’t believe there is such a thing as ‘sustainable’ palm oil available to retailers, so we are giving consumers a choice about what they buy”
Why is Palm Oil considered to be controversial?
- Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world’s deforestation between 1990 and 2008, which also has a knock on effect on the wild life that live there.
- Burning large areas of forests to clear areas where oil palms can be grown has also been blamed for high levels of air pollution in South East Asia
- Some experts say eating palm oil is unhealthy because it is high in saturated fat
EU labelling laws were changed in 2014 so products must now state specifically if they contain palm oil.
Iceland Frozen Food’s annual commitment to Palm Oil is 500 tonnes. Whilst this is a drop in the 400,000 tonnes that comes into the U.K. each year, it is definitely a step into the right direction.
By: Garry Knox