All palm oil present in food products destined for France and Germany have to be sustainable by 2015, according to two new industry pledges.

French and German palm oil industries this week joined other European countries in committing to source all palm oil sustainably by the end of 2015. The commitments were made at the European Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil summit in Berlin on Tuesday (3 September).

The French commitment saw the formation of the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil and the production of 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 manufacturers Cerelia, Ferrero, Nestle, Unilever and Vandemoortele. Three trade bodies also signed the charter: ANIA (The French National Association of Food Industries), Alliance 7 (The French Federation of Fine Foods and Specialised Nutrition) and FNCG (The French National Federation of Industries of Fats).

The German Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil charter was signed by Henkel, retailer Rewe, Unilever and the WWF, and is being funded by the country’s Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV).

Marc Toussaint, spokesperson for the French Alliance, said: “The objective of the alliance is to promote the use of sustainable palm oil which prevents deforestation, is more environmental-friendly, is respectful of local communities and encourages smallholders’ development. Our aim is also to provide French consumers with the most comprehensive information on the subject.”

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By GlobalData

France and Germany join a handful of other countries having already signed up the commitment. The Netherlands was the first to commit, with Belgium joining in February last year.