Sustainable palm oil use in Europe

Europe is the main importer of sustainable palm oil. A monitoring report by ESPO, EPOA and the RSPO shows that in 2015, 2 million mass balance and segregated RSPO certified sustainable palm oil was imported in Europe and an additional 1.5 million Book and Claim certificates were redeemed for the European market.

Around 12% of the global palm oil production is used in Europe (if you compare this; 15% is used in India, 12% in Indonesia and 10% of the global palm oil production is used in China). To increase the uptake of sustainable palm oil it is essential for industries in the palm oil supply chain to join forces. To this end, more and more companies and sector associations are working together in ‘national alliances on sustainable palm oil’. In nine European countries such national alliances have been created. Together, all European alliances and three European food organizations are united in the European Commitment to Support 100% Sustainable Palm Oil in Europe by 2020 – instigated by ESPO last year.

ESPO is IDH’s European Sustainable Palm Oil project (established together with MVO, the Dutch Oils and Fats Industry).

Good progress has been made. Firstly by the backing of six key European governments through the Amsterdam Declaration, followed by the instigation of policy development. In the meantime, the National Initiatives received ongoing support for their engagement activities aiming to involve new companies and increase the awareness and knowledge on sustainable palm oil on national level.

ESPO also supported the French National Initiative during the debate on extra tax on palm oil. During the opening of the REDD Exchange in Oslo, the Norwegian Prime Minister declared governmental support to the ESPO project, followed by the Norwegian Food & Feed Industry.

During the European RSPO meeting, we convened a meeting to discuss the possibility of extending the e-trace platform to include non-certified mills, with the objectives of having a traceability system that is capable of covering all mills in the world regardless of certification. Furthermore together with Proforest and the Traceability Working Group, we convened a meeting on the verification platform.

Lastly, we came together twice with eight NGOs to discuss how we can improve the corporation to reach our mutual goal of 100% sustainable palm oil use.