In total more than 1,100 Sainsbury’s own-brand products now use certified sustainable palm oil.

Director of Sainsbury’s Brand Judith Batchelar said: “Sourcing sustainable palm oil is extremely important for our business as it helps tackle deforestation and reflects the expectations of our customers”.

“At Sainsbury’s we use a collaborative approach, working with all members of the palm oil supply chain to help move the key palm-oil-based ingredients we use to certified sustainable sources.

“We have been a member of the RSPO since 2006 – which sets environmental and social criteria for the production of palm oil and continue to work to help shape and improve the standard.”

Supply chain systems

This week, for example, Sainsbury’s became the first UK supermarket to launch a washing-up liquid using ‘mass balance’ certified sustainable palm oil.

The mass balance model requires processors to purchase palm oil from certified sources, but allows them to mix it with conventional palm oil during transportation, processing and packaging. This reduces the cost and complexity of handling separate supply chains and fosters greater uptake of certification.

More than two-thirds of Sainsburys’ 1,100 sustainable palm oil products utilise the mass balance model. Just under 400 Sainsbury’s products use segregated sustainable palm oil, which is kept separate throughout the supply chain.

Many food and drink suppliers have struggled with the switch to sustainable palm oil, as Pepsi True was temporarily removed from the Amazon online marketplace in November following a smear campaign from environmental activists.

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie