BELGIUM: Delhaize commits to palm oil traceability aims

By Hannah Abdulla | 18 February 2014

Delhaize has commited to a no deforestation policy in a bid to source fully traceable palm oil

Delhaize has commited to a no deforestation policy in a bid to source fully traceable palm oil

Belgian retailer Delhaize Group has announced its commitment to a "no deforestation policy" as part of a move towards sourcing fully traceable palm oil.

The firm yesterday (17 February) set a target of 2020 for when all the palm oil it sources for its own-label products is "100% traceable and deforestation-free". The retailer wants 80% to meet those criteria by 2018.

In 2012, Delhaize had stated a goal of ensuring it was only using "sustainable" palm oil for own-label products. Of the 80% of private-label food products it evaluated 20% of the palm oil used was certified sustainable.

Delhaize said yesterday it was "important customers had the confidence the palm oil used in its products was sourced responsibly and through verified sources that do not contribute to deforestation".

Megan Hellstedt, Delhaize's group vice president of sustainability, added: "We are pleased with our progress to date in increasing the visibility and transparency of palm oil in our private-brand products and are happy that, with added knowledge about our supply chain, we can accelerate our commitment to responsibly sourcing 80% of our palm oil by 2018.

"Reaching this commitment, however, will take collaborative effort across the palm oil supply chain. We look forward to continued engagement with our suppliers, other retailers, NGOs, and palm oil producers in the transformation to responsibly-sourced palm oil."

Yesterday (17 February), Kellogg pledged it would work with palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable batches of the product.

Show the press release

Delhaize Group today announces an updated policy on Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing that outlines our commitment to source only traceable, No-Deforestation palm oil. Building upon the work we began in 2012 to increase the transparency in the sourcing of the palm oil used in private brand products, we have updated our policy to reflect our new goals. We are working to ensure that by 2020, all the palm oil we source for our private brand products is 100% traceable and deforestation-free, and we plan to reach 80% by 2018.

Acting as a responsible company is one of the key elements of Delhaize Group’s strategy. We recognize the impact of deforestation on climate change, habitats, and forest communities. Our updated policy includes the commitment to protecting peatlands, High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas, including wildlife habitats. It will also respect the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous and local communities in the development of new plantations.

Our updated commitment comes after a year and a half of building knowledge of our palm oil sourcing, with the help of the global non-profit organization, The Forest Trust (TFT). It aligns with our 2020 Supergood strategy and our commitment as a board member of the Consumer Goods Forum to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

It is important that our customers have the confidence that the palm oil used in our products has been responsibly sourced from known and verified sources that do not contribute to deforestation. We will be working to achieve our aims in an open and transparent manner, producing annual reports on our progress.

“We are pleased with our progress to date in increasing the visibility and transparency of palm oil in our private brand products and are happy that, with added knowledge about our supply chain, we can accelerate our commitment to responsibly sourcing 80% of our palm oil by 2018,” said Megan Hellstedt, Delhaize Group Vice President of Sustainability. “Reaching this commitment, however, will take collaborative effort across the palm oil supply chain. We look forward to continued engagement with our suppliers, other retailers, NGOs, and palm oil producers in the transformation to responsibly-sourced palm oil.”

TFT Director Bastien Sachet believes Delhaize Group’s plans take great courage: “There are no ready-made solutions out there for the retail industry when it comes to successfully verifying traceable No-Deforestation palm oil supplies, but the commitment shown by Delhaize Group will be a big driver for innovation and solutions.”

As a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Delhaize Group is also maintaining its current commitment to have 100% of the palm oil we use in our private brand products adhere to the RSPO guidelines by the end of 2015. The company is on track to meet this commitment through a mix of GreenPalm Certificates, Mass Balance, and Segregated certified palm oil. After 2015, we will move to Mass Balance and Segregated certified palm oil for our key product categories.

Original source: Delhaize

Sectors: Commodities & ingredients, Private label, Sustainability & the environment

Companies: Delhaize Group

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