Sime Darby Plantation Statement In Response To The Announcement By Iceland To Remove Palm Oil From Their Products

Kuala Lumpur, 13 April 2018 - Sime Darby Plantation (SD Plantation) is disappointed that the UK’s Iceland Supermarket chain has made the misguided decision to ban palm oil from all its own brand food lines. While we share Iceland’s concern over the alleged sustainability issues associated with palm oil, simply replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils will only impose more pressure on forests as more land is needed to produce the same amount of oil. This is because the oil palm is a highly efficient oil crop and produces between 4-10 times more oil per unit of land than other substitutes, such as soybean, rapeseed or sunflower. With projections on global population indicating a rapid rise that will fuel exponential increase in the demand for vegetable oils, a ban on palm oil should be seen as imprudent and unrealistic.    
We also regret the statement made by Iceland’s managing director, Richard Walker, who said that “We don’t believe there is such a thing as guaranteed ‘sustainable’ palm oil available in the mass market.”  SD Plantation would like to emphasise that sustainability standards are already in place for the palm oil industry and that certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) has long been available in the market. As a matter of fact, SD Plantation produces 20% of the world’s CSPO. Sime Darby Plantation has also built a strong and long standing customer base, many of whom have put their trust in our sustainably produced palm oil products. All our key clients have access to the traceability of our supply chain via Sime Darby Plantation’s ‘Open Palm Traceability Dashboard’ which provides them assurance on the origin of all our certified sustainable palm oil products.
As the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, sustainability has always been among the top priority of our business wherever we operate, and we are committed towards ensuring that we adhere strictly to the highest standards and best practices. This includes our commitment to No-Deforestation, No-Peat and No-Exploitation as outlined in our Responsible Agriculture Charter, which is extended to include all suppliers within our supply chain. As a founding member of the RSPO, we are proud to continuously improve sustainability standards of the palm oil industry, including to support the aspirations of palm oil producing countries to further raise sustainability standard via other certification schemes such as the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).  
Sime Darby Plantation is poised to serve the needs of our customers in the UK and throughout the EU, and will continue to promote sustainable palm oil in other emerging markets across the world.  We would like to encourage Iceland to be part of the development and objective discussion on sustainable palm oil, and a greater understanding on the tangible benefits of buying sustainable palm oil as a better solution for its business and the world at large.
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