Food & Flavour

UK's Iceland retailer scraps palm oil from own label food

UK supermarket Iceland is making a pioneering move by claiming to be the first major supermarket in Britain to completely remove palm oil from its own-label food. The UK’s leading frozen food specialist has said that it will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in all its own label food by the end of this year. The project is already well underway, with palm oil successfully removed from 50 percent of its own label range; 130 products will have been reformulated by the end of 2018.

There has been growing consumer concern over the use of palm oil as an ingredient in food as it is has been controversially associated with deforestation, child labour issues and has come under heavy scrutiny from environmental campaigners. Many involved in the sourcing and selling of palm oil, claim to be working towards creating a sustainable supply chain and much work has been carried out in this regard. However, Iceland Managing Director, Richard Walker, believes there is no such thing as guaranteed “sustainable” palm oil available in the mass market and so is making the bold move.

Iceland has brought out 100 new lines without palm oil, including its new summer range, and by the beginning of 2019, the supermarket will have launched more than 200 new lines that do not contain palm oil.

“Growing demand for palm oil for use in food products, cosmetics and biodiesel are devastating tropical rainforests across South East Asia. In Indonesia and Malaysia, where expanding palm oil and wood pulp plantations are the biggest driver of deforestation, many species are being threatened with extinction, including the orangutan, already critically endangered,” says an Iceland statement.