Iceland has committed to becoming the first major supermarket in the UK to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand food.
To date, the frozen food retailer has already slashed palm oil in its own-label range by half. The rest, it said, will be reformulated by the end of 2018.
The complexity of the palm oil supply chain means that only a marginal amount comes from officially approved sources. The rest is linked with deforestation and habitat loss.
Iceland’s Managing Director, Richard Walker, said: “Until Iceland can guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction, we are simply saying ‘no to palm oil’.
“We don’t believe there is such a thing as guaranteed ‘sustainable’ palm oil available in the mass market, so we are giving consumers a choice to say no to palm for the first time.
“Having recently been to Indonesia and seen the environmental devastation caused by expanding palm oil production first hand, I feel passionately about the importance of raising awareness of this issue – and I know many British consumers share my concern and want to have a real choice about what they buy.
“This journey has shown me that, currently, no major supermarket or food manufacturer can substantiate any claim that the palm oil they use is truly sustainable, as the damage being caused to the global environment and communities in South East Asia is just too extensive.”