Two major ingredients suppliers are leading the charge towards using sustainable palm oil.

AAK UK’s full range of bakery fats and many other standard product lines will now contain RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil, while British Bakels believes it is the first UK bakery ingredients supplier to switch to RSPO-certified sustainable palm oils across most of its product range.

Only a few lines where palm oil is a functional ingredient have yet to make the switch.

British Bakels’ national sales controller Pauline Ferrol said its bakery customers could tell consumers that its goods were environmentally friendly. “We are meeting a huge need. Major retailers are under pressure from their customers to offer goods made from sustainable palm oil and all retailers are committed to making the switch to sustainable palm oil products.” The firm is sourcing the sustainable oil from Olympic Oils.

AAK marketing controller Judith Murdoch said the percentage of sustainable fats used would depend on the product. She added: “We’re doing what our customers want and also moving some people who weren’t ready to move along with it; it hasn’t been a business priority for some, as they had been looking at issues such as saturates.

"It’s not the number one priority for consumers, but they will see that a company is doing the right thing – even a local baker in the high street.”

AAK has been involved in the GreenPalm scheme, under which companies buy a certificate for every tonne of palm oil they use. A premium is then paid to farmers producing an equivalent amount of sustainable palm oil – to offset the environmental impact of farming palm oil.

This scheme would still be valid, said Murdoch, as AAK did not supply products such as buttercream.
Earlier this month, New Britain Oils announced plans to open a UK processing facility producing bakery fats made with fully segregated, certified palm oil.

>>New Britain plans fully segregated palm oil plant