Cargill Offers RSPO Palm Oil to All US Customers

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Cargill Offers RSPO Palm Oil to All US Customers
Image courtesy of Cargill

In response to the burgeoning demand from environmentally conscious consumers and customers, Cargill is poised to take a pioneering step as one of the leading U.S. suppliers by exclusively offering palm oil that bears the esteemed certification of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Commencing in October 2023, Cargill will cease to include conventional palm oil in its extensive U.S. product lineup.

This momentous decision underscores the escalating calls for sustainability coming from not only consumers, who increasingly factor eco-friendliness into their purchasing choices but also from food manufacturers and retailers who are committed to advancing their sustainability objectives throughout their supply chains.

Cameron Plese, Head of North America for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, emphasised the pivotal role played by RSPO members like Cargill in connecting RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) with supply chain actors seeking CSPO for their consumer products.

Plese expressed hope that North America will transform into a market where 100% of products bear RSPO certification, and Cargill's proactive measures are a crucial step in realising that aspiration.

Cargill's commitment to RSPO-certified palm oil dates back to 2005, when they initially adopted this practice. In December 2020, they reached a significant milestone by converting their Charlotte, N.C. refinery to exclusively use segregated palm oil.

With this latest announcement, Cargill aims to ensure that by January 2024, all purchasers of palm oil from their U.S. refineries can rest assured that they are receiving RSPO-certified palm oil originating from either mass balance or segregated supply chains.

Reid Kinde, Cargill's Commercial Leader for Edible Oils in North America, lauded this announcement as a step closer to achieving a fully transparent, traceable, and sustainable palm oil supply chain. RSPO certification offers consumers the peace of mind that the palm oil they acquire from Cargill's U.S. refineries adheres to a comprehensive programme aimed at preventing deforestation and safeguarding both the environment and the people living and working in palm oil-producing regions.

To ensure an adequate supply of RSPO-certified palm oil, Cargill invested $200 million in a new palm oil refinery located in Lampung, Indonesia. Its strategic location enables the direct sourcing of palm oil from Cargill-owned plantations and mills, as well as selected third-party mills compliant with Cargill's sustainability policy. This investment enhances the assurance that Cargill's palm oil supply chain is not only safe for consumption but also reliable and traceable.

Palm oil, recognised as the world's most versatile vegetable oil, finds its way into numerous everyday products, from cosmetics and soaps to chocolates and noodles. Remarkably efficient, palm oil production requires significantly less land compared to other vegetable oil crops. However, the conventional palm oil industry lacks assurance regarding responsible sourcing practices.

In stark contrast, RSPO-certified palm oil is held to a stringent set of sustainability principles and criteria set forth by the RSPO. This ensures the protection of forests and adherence to social and environmental safeguards throughout the production and harvesting process.

By exclusively offering RSPO-certified palm oil from their U.S. refineries, Cargill takes significant strides toward fulfilling their own sustainability commitments and supports the ever-growing number of brands, retailers, and consumers dedicated to sourcing palm oil responsibly.

Reaffirming the positive impact of responsible ingredient sourcing, Kinde commented, "Responsible ingredient sourcing is not only beneficial for the planet but also for our business. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important driver for consumers, reflecting their values and identity through their product choices. Cargill's resolute commitment to RSPO-certified palm oil supply chains underscores our dedication to sustainable sourcing practices and the trust we aim to earn."

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Source: Cargill

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