Cargill Shifts NC Plant to Provide RSPO-Certified Palm Oil

(Credit: RSPO)

by | Nov 20, 2020

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(Credit: RSPO)

Global food corporation Cargill is significantly expanding its segregated palm oil capacity in order to help its customers meet their sustainability commitments, the company says. Previously, Cargill offered its North American customers mass-balanced sustainable palm oil, but its new offering in North America meets stricter certification standards for Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

As part of ongoing efforts to increase the availability of sustainably sourced ingredients, Cargill will become one of North America’s first large-scale suppliers of segregated palm oil certified by the RSPO. Beginning in December, all palm oil production from the company’s Charlotte, North Carolina, refinery will be solely dedicated to providing the sustainably sourced product.

Segregated certified palm oil must be produced according to the principles and criteria established by the RSPO, which verifies that forests are protected, and social and environmental safeguards are met during the oil’s production and harvest. To carry the segregated RSPO designation, all product must be kept separate from commodity palm oil supplies and be traceable throughout the supply chain. It is produced on RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil plantations, refined at RSPO-certified facilities and ultimately used by a RSPO-certified manufacturer.

While Cargill has been supplying RSPO-certified palm oil since 2005 for customers in Europe, Mexico, Australia and Malaysia, this expansion in North America reflects growing demand for ethically sourced palm oil.

Palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil, according to Cargill.

Food companies are facing increased pressure from consumers to improve traceability of their ingredients; in September, RSPO reported sales of certified palm oil increasing by 13% globally in 2019.

According to ZSL, the clearance and burning of forests and carbon-rich peat soils to create land for palm oil production is among the biggest drivers of deforestation in the tropics – destroying wildlife habitats, removing natural carbon storage and so accelerating biodiversity loss and climate change.

Companies across the palm oil supply chain have committed to zero deforestation by 2020, through the Consumer Goods Forum pledge or through their own targets.

RSPO certifies palm oil producers through strict verification of the production process to the stringent RSPO Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production by accredited certifying bodies; certification can be withdrawn at any time in case of infringement of the rules and standards. All organizations in the supply chain that use RSPO certified sustainable oil products are audited to prevent overselling and mixing palm oil with conventional (or non-sustainable) oil palm products.


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