Knowledge for better food systems

Supermarket Iceland cuts palm oil from own products

Image: Adcro, The exterior of an Iceland supermarket in Horwich, Bolton, Greater Manchester, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Frozen food supermarket Iceland has pledged to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand lines by the end of 2018, citing concerns over collapsing orangutan populations and deforestation. The initiative - the first of its kind among major UK supermarkets - should reduce demand for palm oil by over 500 tonnes a year.

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said, “We don’t believe there is such a thing as guaranteed ‘sustainable’ palm oil available in the mass market, so we are giving consumers a choice to say no to palm for the first time.”

Iceland’s press release (PDF link) says that replacements for palm oil will include sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and butter.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource resource How do food systems affect land-use and biodiversity? Another useful resource is our report Policies and actions to shift eating patterns: What works?, which highlight the complexity of the palm oil issue. See Table 1, page 13 for a discussion of the complexities of substituting palm oil with other commodities.

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