We had a Customer Query with Tesco over the weekend and so we chased them up for a reply about our earlier enquiry on palm oil usage in Tesco products and got the following extremely pathetic response:
In regards to Palm Oil I am afraid that I do not have any in depth knowledge
as to what products contain Palm Oil.
Waleda have confirmed that where their products use sustainable palm oil, it is labelled as Sodium Palmate (another one for the list!) I think I'll order some toiletries from them but avoid any containing Sodium Palmate, even though they say they only use sustainable palm oil, I did some research yesterday about it.
The WWF are questioning the dedication of RSPO's commitment to sustainable palm oil in this article. The article mentions that the WWF are spending the next six months researching and will be producing a 'Palm Oil Buyer’s Scorecard', ranking the commitment and actions of major global retailers, manufacturers and traders. That will be really helpful in the future but at the moment, I'm still on my own having to write to individual companies personally.
I found this Facebook forum posting particularly compelling:
"... even though some companies source their palm oil from plantations that have been around for 30 years or more, these same plantations have staff that will kill orangutans on sight. I worked in an orangutan rehabilitation centre in Kalimantan for two years and all to often we would receive calls from palm oil planatation workers to come and rescue infant orangutans whose mothers had been killed by the same workers. These stories were the best case scenarios - there were much worse. As far as I am concerned very few palm oil plantations, if any, can label themselves sustainable or cruelty free."
No response from the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers.