A new joint report finds that Europe is by far the largest consumer of sustainable palm oil in the world, accounting for 45 percent of the total global use of certified sustainable palm oil.
Jointly commissioned by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA), and IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the report, ‘Sustainable Palm Oil: Europe’s business – fact, analysis and actions to leverage impact’, presents an in-depth analysis of the current trends and developments in the European palm oil market and supply chain.
The strategic role of Europe in the global context
The research, conducted by NewForesight, found that Europe’s total palm oil import is actually decreasing. While at the same time, the consumption of palm oil is increasing in other parts of the world where the market for sustainable palm oil products is still in its infancy.
In this context, the report highlights the importance of maintaining Europe’s role in helping to shift the global market to sustainable palm oil.
Encouraging learning from the report, highlighted by Francesca Morgante, RSPO’s Senior Manager for Europe, is that European companies increasingly value sustainability.
As the data shows, we have seen a spike in sustainability communications. In Europe, licences for the use of the RSPO Trademark on products have doubled between 2020 and 2021, with those for corporate communication tripling in the same period, Francesca Morgante said.
Key action areas
Europe faces unique challenges with specific oil palm products and their supply chains which reach sectors other than food, such as oleochemical and feed.
As outlined in the report, 93 percent of total palm oil imports are RSPO-certified sustainable, followed by certified sustainable palm kernel oil (CSPKO) at 62 percent, and certified sustainable palm kernel expeller (CSPKE) at only 5 percent, meaning that some sectors still need to be further developed.
CSPKO and CSPKE are mainly used in the oleochemical and animal feed sectors respectively.
The report targets primarily consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, and traders and identifies five key action areas through which palm oil end-users can improve the sustainability of their palm oil supply chains.
In a review of current topics, the report also draws upon five case studies exploring market trends, proposed EU regulation for mandatory due diligence for deforestation, NDPE, Sabah’s Jurisdictional Approach, and national sustainable palm oil certification schemes.
This new report helps your company to identify key action areas depending on its maturity level in its sustainable palm oil journey. Whether you are a frontrunner, already on your way, or, for the first time taking steps to improve sustainability in your supply chain, the sustainability journey is for everyone and requires collective action from all stakeholders, commented Willem Klaassens, Director of Markets and SourceUp at IDH.
Follow-up strategies and actions will be discussed at The Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue, the most important conference on Sustainable Palm Oil in Europe that will be jointly organized by RSPO, EPOA, and IDH on October 20, 2022, in The Netherlands.
Companies can find in one single document key information they need to advance their sustainable palm oil journey. These initiatives are not only related to the work of our organizations but also to many others. This was a conscious decision from our organizations, as we really need combined efforts to further advance sustainable palm oil supply chains, ended Stephania Rivera, Sustainability Policy Officer at EPOA.