Palm oil. Two words that conjure up horrific images of orangutans and bulldozers, burning forests and bleak landscapes.

But what to do about it? There’s so much conflicting information out there. WWF and ZSL say avoiding palm oil completely could have worse effects because it could take away support from companies trying hard to improve, and it takes less land to produce than other oils. They tell us to look for the RSPO label (see image below) to ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. 
But the latest Greenpeace report says certified sustainable palm oil is a con, a henhouse insurance scheme run by foxes. They say avoid palm oil completely. RSPO say the Greenpeace report missed the mark - but they will do more independent investigation. 

Iceland appear to now have delivered on their promise to remove palm oil from all their own label products, which whilst admirable, doesn’t help all that much unless you live on frozen food. Most major supermarkets say their own label products only contain sustainable palm oil, but according to the 78 page Greenpeace report, that scheme's a con. 

So, what to do? All I can conclude is to aim to reduce the number of products I buy that contain any kind of palm oil, and if not possible, look out for those with the RSPO label in the hope they will clean up their act - buying your supermarket own label products is an easy way to do this and often cheaper. 
That’s got to be better than nothing, right?, featured in my previous blog, allows you to search for palm oil free products, or those with the RSPO label. 

I’m also going to write to the major supermarkets to point them to the Greenpeace report and ask them to be even more rigorous in looking at their supply chains. I'm lucky that I have the time to do that at the moment, in case you do too, here are the email addresses to write to. If you'd like suggested email text, feel free to contact me.
And here's how to find your local MP's contact details.
At time of writing in the run up to the General Election, there's no-one to write to, but it's a perfect time to contact the one or two candidates most likely to win in your area and tell them it's a key issue for you.
Back to Top