Palm oil is a versatile and efficient ingredient which has become increasingly important for many industries, including the food industry. It has some crucial sustainability benefits versus other vegetable oils and is an important agricultural commodity for many developing regions. Much of the palm oil produced today comes from plantations in South East Asia, where rapid industry expansion has meant that it can often be associated with environmental damage and poor working conditions.
Kerry Group uses processed palm oil products meaning we do not have direct contact with palm mills or plantations. However, we want to ensure that the palm oil we use does not come from sources that contribute to further deforestation or infringe on the rights of workers and local communities.
Kerry has been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2010 and all our palm oil is sourced from processors who are committed to RSPO membership. Where we use palm oil in Kerry branded consumer products, we use only RSPO certified product. To help ensure the sustainable sourcing of our wider palm oil volumes, we require that these come only from sources which are aligned with the requirements laid out in the Group's Palm Oil Sourcing Policy.
Kerry engages with its palm oil supply partners on an ongoing basis to communicate our expectations and to monitor progress versus our commitments. We publish an Annual Progress Report and our most recent analysis shows continued progress versus the Group's policy and improved traceability with 97% of our palm oil volumes traceable back to the production mill and 51% traceable back to the plantation.
Palm Oil Use: Kerry Taste & Nutrition (88,750 tonnes)
Palm Oil Use: Kerry Foods (10,910 tonnes)
Working with Smallholders
While certification plays an important part in demonstrating good production practices, getting up to the required level initially can prove challenging, especially for smaller farmers. At Kerry, we work at farm level across a number of categories to improve production practices and are proud to support a collaborative project, together with Bunge Loders Croklaan, for small growers in Sabah, Malaysia.
The programme supports the inclusion of small palm growers (0 to 500Ha) into the palm oil supply chain and will boost small farmer's productivity by helping them implement sustainable agricultural practices and improved working conditions. It also guides third party mills in achieving staged compliance with the project partners sustainable palm requirements and helps them prepare for certification.