BDSI welcomes German government commitment on sustainable palm oil supplies

The Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) has welcomed a key political commitment from the country’s federal government on ensuring greater levels of sustainable palm oil supplies, reports Neill Barston.

As the trade organisation revealed, the latest move came about from a combined action from the Federal Ministry of Economics Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Nutrition and Agriculture (BMEL), as well as the second Federal Ministry as part of the Sustainable Palm Oil Forum.

The BDSI is also actively involved within this group, as sustainability is a core issue for the German confectionery industry, especially regarding processing of palm oil. Around 90% of such supplies used in the country’s confectionery sector are already sustainably certified, which is among the highest in the world. This was highlighted by Sustainable Palm Oil Forum (FONAP) studies, including its publication of an investigation by Meo Carbon Solutions showing the use of sustainably produced palm oil within the country.

Earlier this year, as Confectionery Production previously reported, a WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard highlighted some of the best performing companies within the confectionery and wider food and drink sector in regard to sourcing strategies, with Ferrero emerging in top position. The business was praised for its approach to corporate responsibility in its supply policies, gaining a total of 21.5 out of a possible 22 in terms of meeting major criteria for ethical production values. Other companies featuring in the study included Nestlé, gaining a score of 17, and Hershey, recording a figure of 16.5.

As the BDSI explained, palm oil has many advantages for use within confectionery with appropriate, sustainable processing. As a result, businesses in the sector have collaborated in a bid to be increasingly environmentally aware of their respective operations. Consequently, a large quantity of palm oil consumed in Germany (43%) is accounted for by Bioenergy.

There are a number of internationally recognised varieties for growing sustainable palm oil. These include Requirements against deforestation, against cultivation peat soils, and for respect for human rights. However, the organisation noted that calls from some quarters to boycott the use of palm oil entirely could potentially undermine the sustainability efforts of small producers in the countries of origin such as Indonesia, Malaysia or Colombia.

Many companies in the German confectionery industry and also the Industry association BDSI are directly involved as members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), and work intensively with, or at FONAP. They have have imposed targets that have achieved or are soon to achieve 100% sustainably produced, certified palm oil.

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