On Monday 16 July, members of the Biodiversity and Palm Oil team attended the launch of Carrefour’s ECOplanet cooking oil at the headquarters of Carrefour Indonesia at Lebak Bulus, Jakarta. This latest addition to Carrefour’s ECOplanet product range is significant as it marks the introduction of Indonesia’s first certified sustainable palm oil product and is a testament to Carrefour’s commitment to using only certified sustainable palm oil in all its own brand products by 2015. The ECOplanet cooking oil is 100% Indonesian palm oil sourced according to international standards for sustainability and carrying the RSPO Trademark.
The event was attended by Mr. Eric Uzan, CEO of Carrefour Indonesia, Mr Alan Southworth, Production Director of Musim Mas palm oil corporation, Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih, RSPO Advisor, and Dr. Bayu Krisnamurthy, Deputy Minister of Commerce, as well as representatives from various organisations including the UNDP, ZSL, IFC, PwC, Solidaridad, WWF, and members of the press.
Children being educated about environmental and conservation issues at Mondays event
The ceremony opened with a traditional dance performance, followed by speeches from the above-named attendees and a short documentary on the work of the RSPO, while other activities included in-store cooking demonstrations and story-telling for children. WWF’s Pandamobile was also on hand to engage with visiting school children and raise awareness of environmental and conservation issues.
The launch of the ECOplanet cooking oil marks the culmination of a year-long process of collaboration with the palm oil corporation Musim Mas Group to bring Indonesia’s first certified sustainable cooking oil to the market.
Representatives from Carrefour, Musim Mas, RSPO and the Deputy Minister of Commerce present Carrefour's new Eco Planet cooking oil
Speaking at the product launch in Jakarta, Dr Bayu Krisnamurthy, Deputy Minister of Commerce, emphasised the significance of this development for Indonesia in encouraging Indonesian consumers to support sustainable development of the palm oil industry through responsible consumption of the commodity. He also expressed to Mr Eric Uzan, CEO of Carrefour Indonesia, the hope that Carrefour would market and promote this Indonesian product throughout its global operations.
Carrefour’s ECOplanet range was launched in 2006 to promote certified environmentally friendly food and non-food products. The company has been purchasing RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil for all its European-manufactured products since 2010, and it has also been a major purchaser of GreenPalm certificates. Carrefour is one of a handful of large, multinational retailers and manufacturers that have committed to sourcing sustainable palm oil for their own-brand products by 2015. This is an ambitious goal considering the complexity of the palm oil derivatives supply chain and the number of everyday household products that contain palm oil or palm kernel oil. Over the next three years these organisations will lead by example and demonstrate the benefits, as well as the difficulties, involved in sourcing sustainable palm oil for a broad spectrum of products. It will be essential for these key stakeholders to communicate the lessons they have learned and engage with other members of the palm oil supply chain.
In the context of ZSL’s work to conserve biodiversity through promoting best practice and greater transparency throughout the palm oil supply chain, the Biodiversity and Oil Palm team recognises the significance of a major international retailer driving demand for sustainable palm oil. This highlights the important role of stakeholders at the consumer and retail end of the supply chain in bringing about positive change in the practices of growers and millers. To meet the demand for palm oil that is produced in accordance with the standards required for RSPO certification, one of the key criteria for growers is the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity through the appropriate management of High Conservation Value Areas within oil palm plantations. However, in reality there is still a long way to go to ensuring that palm oil production is not synonymous with environmental destruction, and bridging that gap will ultimately depend on continued pressure and demand from consumers and retailers for best practices and 100% sustainable palm oil.