What is EPOA’s position on no-palm oil labelling?
It is important that a product packaging describes the content of the product. A no palm oil label is not helpful in that context; By claiming no palm oil players seem to suggest a better sustainability performance; This is often not further explained. It is important to note that the purchasing of sustainable palm oil contributes to better production practices on the ground. We would rather see players use and claim the use of sustainable produced palm oil, then claiming no palm oil.
EPOA believes that sustainable oil has a place in a balanced diet, which should be reflected in product communication to the consumer. A ‘No palm oil’ label is confusing for consumers, because it creates conflicting messages around sustainable palm oil for all stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain, including consumers who would like to make a responsible decision and protect rainforests.
We consider ‘No palm oil’ communication detrimental to environmental campaigns that focus on solutions for serious issues such as deforestation and biodiversity loss. In this opinion we are supported by many social and environmental NGOs (like WWF, IUCN, Greenpeace, Solidaridad, OxfamNovib).
Boycotting palm oil will not lead to less deforestation. By advertising for palm-free products and ignoring the possibility to create a global move towards sustainable palm oil, . While all stakeholders are increasing their efforts, companies that are boycotting all palm oil, including sustainable palm oil, are heading in the wrong direction.
Several organizations have done in-depth research to dispute a boycott. A report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, concluded that boycotting palm oil would displace – not halt – biodiversity loss. That is because palm oil, the most productive oil crop, would have to be replaced with other vegetable oils. This EU Commission’s report states palm oil currently occupies the least land out of all oil crops, and that if we replace palm oil with other oils, we’ll need 5 – 8 times larger areas of land.