A symbol to show consumers that products contain “sustainable” palm oil was launched today (9 November).
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) unveiled the trademark at its annual meeting in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
The RSPO said the logo will mean consumers can “easily distinguish” products that contain palm oil sourced following the organisation’s rules.
“The RSPO trademark will reassure consumers that products they buy contribute to sustainable cultivation of palm oil and other palm products,” said RSPO president Jan Kees Vis.
Manufacturers and retailers will be able to apply the new logo to their packaging from early next year.
The RSPO, formed in 2004 by companies including Unilever and Sainsbury’s brings together stakeholders from seven sectors involved in the palm oil industry. Groups including palm oil producers and processors, manufacturers, retailers and NGOs have moved to develop global standards for certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).
With palm oil sourcing said to have a destructive impact on the environment, campaigners have been frustrated by what they see as slow progress made by the RSPO. Manufacturers and retailers have pointed to the time it takes to build the supply of and demand for certified products.
However, there are indications that demand for sustainable palm oil is growing. GreenPalm, a subsidiary of food ingredients giant AAK, gives palm oil producers certified by the RSPO a GreenPalm certificate for each tonne they produce sustainably.
Manufacturers and retailers bid for and buy the GreenPalm certificates online as a means of encouraging the production of sustainable palm oil.
Last month, GreenPalm said the one millionth certificate was recently traded as more suppliers and grocery chains use the trading platform.