Renowned supermarket chain Iceland has recently announced that it will no longer be using palm oil in its own brand food by the year end. The company reported that it will be ceasing the use of palm oil from its 130 food lines, in turn reducing product demand by more than 500 tons per year.
Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the main reason behind the company decision to remove palm oil is a report that declared wood pulp and palm oil plantations to be the biggest propellers of deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. The report also claimed that these plantations have been the driving force behind the extinction of rare species such as the orangutan.
Experts speculate that the company’s decision to remove the product from its food lines and replace it with alternatives such as butter and sunflower oil will have a major impact on the regional palm oil derivatives market outlook.
The growing demand for everyday foods, biofuel, and toiletries have significantly accelerated palm oil derivatives market in the recent years, cite analysts. In a report complied by The Guardian, it has been stated that palm oil is significantly cheap and is a mass-produced ingredient found in more than 50% of all the supermarket products – right from pastry, cereal, bread, chocolate, and biscuits to detergents and soaps to cosmetics and biodiesel.
Sources reveal that the Greenpeace, an environmental campaign group has been compelling manufacturers to aggressively take control of their supply chains. Iceland in this regard has concluded that completely removing palm oil is the only option it can offer its buyers as an assurance that its products do not contain palm oil from deforestation. John Sauven, UK executive director Greenpeace, was quoted stating that this decision is a direct response to the palm oil derivatives industry firms’ failure to clean up their act.
If reports are to be believed, palm oil, aggressively used in biodiesel and cosmetics, has been projected to witness double the product demand by 2050.