Voluntary commitments
Other food business operators do not pursue this denigrating path. Instead, they use sustainable palm oil, often developing their very own mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of their products and to improve the situation on the ground.

For example, Ferrero has established the Ferrero Palm Oil Charter, which is intended to address the most important causes of deforestation and achieve the best balance between conservation of the environment, community needs and economic benefit and viability, going beyond the requirements of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Similarly, in 2015, Pepsico had launched its Palm Oil Action Plan, committing to help advance palm oil sustainability in the industry and publishing annually its Progress Reports. There is clearly a market for products containing sustainably sourced palm oil.

In parallel, a number of EU palm oil-using countries launched more responsible initiatives, such as the Amsterdam Commitments’ 2020 deadline for 100% sustainable sourcing of deforestation-free commodities and for a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain by 2020.

The claims against palm oil and steps taken by companies like Iceland and idilia Foods are misleading consumers on the environmental and nutritional benefits of palm oil and other vegetable oils. The EU and its member-states should finally take action against misleading ‘free from’ claims, including and most importantly, ‘palm oil-free’ claims. The practice of presenting certain foods as healthier than others because of certain characteristics that they do not have, instead of what they really contain, is deceptive and illegal under EU law.

FratiniVergano
European Lawyers


 

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