Burton’s Foods has announced it is the first UK sweet biscuit manufacturer to acquire GreenPalm certificates for 100% of its palm oil usage.

From 1 January 2010, its usage of both palm- and palm kernel oil will be covered by the certificates, in the scheme which is internationally recognised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

The firm has also announced that its long-term strategy is to be able to use segregated sustainable material throughout the entire product range by 2013.

British Baker has previously reported that fully traceable, segregated and sustainable refined palm oil is available from suppliers such as New Britain and can be used in biscuits, however most bakery manufacturers use palm derivatives such as olein, stearin and fractions, which are not currently available in sustainable, certified forms. This leaves manufacturers with the option of buying GreenPalm certificates.

The scheme is run by fats supplier AAK, and certificates can be purchased for every tonne of palm oil used by a company. This premium is then paid to farmers producing an equivalent amount of sustainable palm oil. Certificates cost around $8, while a tonne of palm oil is around $650.

“We are delighted to be able to kick-start 2010 with such a major step forward for our CSR programme
– baking a difference,” commented head of CSR at Burton’s Foods, Jo Shears. “Moving forward, consumers will be reassured that when purchasing some of the UK’s favourite brands such as Jammie Dodgers and Maryland they are making environmentally responsible purchasing decisions.”