All palm oil present in food products destined for the Belgian market has to be sustainable by 2015, according to a new industry pledge.

Belgian food and oil manufacturers have formed The Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil and produced a charter to promote the use of certified sustainable palm oil in the country.

The charter to use only palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was signed by trade bodies including potato industry association Belgapom and confectionery and biscuit association Choprabisco. Cargill and Fuji Oil also signed the charter.

According to the new charter, the palm oil being traded will confirm to one of the three RSPO-approved trading systems: segregation, mass balance or book & claim.

"Due to the great economic but also nutritional importance of this raw material, the alliance would like to collaborate with the local and international signers of the RSPO," the charter says. "This international round table gathers not only NGOs like World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam International, and several private organisations, but also the palm oil industry, the processors and the producers of foods, the distribution sector and the investors.

"Together they have determined the principles and conditions for the production of palm oil, while considering the population, the planet and the profit."

Click here to view the full charter.