Waitrose has announced that its own label products will contain only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil by 2012, with an interim target of a quarter of this conversion set for year end 2010.
Currently, around 1,000 Waitrose branded products include very low levels of palm oil (between 0.001 and 4 per cent) and work is under way to minimise or eradicate the ingredient entirely, however palm oil continues to be important to the texture of cakes, patisserie, biscuits and pastry products. As an interim measure, Waitrose will be using Greenpalm, a certificate trading programme for palm oil which is endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, of which Waitrose is a member.
The latest commitment comes after a meeting between Chief Executive of WWF, David Nussbaum, and Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price. Following the meeting, Mark Price said: 'Our mediocre rating in WWF's Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard 2009 has toughened our resolve. We can and we will meet this ambitious target. We want to be part of the solution, not contributing to the environmental problems caused by the growth in palm oil use.'
David Nussbaum added, 'Our recent scorecard showed that few companies had followed up their commitments with action but it is good to see a well known company like Waitrose putting its words into practice by ensuring that they will start using CSPO from next year. We hope that this will encourage many other household names to take responsibility for their actions.'