I am motivated to select blog topics based on questions and reactions from our customers. I received notice of a negative review on the soap and went to check It out. The writer actually loved the soap but did not like that we use PALM oil, stating unequivocally that Palm oil was in no way sustainable and we should not be using it.
Education about Sustainable Palm Oil
These comments don’t make me angry, they show me the opportunity to help consumers catch up to developments in the industry of which they are simply not aware. Boycotting a raw material that is used worldwide has truly little effect on the market. Education and reform are needed. So, does Sustainable Palm Oil exist? Sustainable Palm Oil that does not damage the rainforest environment OR the indigenous populations and the movement is REAL!
In fact, we are finally able to purchase SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL for use in our products. On July 22, this year we did a blog on the meaning of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. We also delved into exactly why we do use Palm Oil in our soap. As a reminder, high-quality Palm oil is very high in Vitamin E which helps protect the bar long term. Palm gives a unique “feel” to the lather and stabilizes it. In short, an oil that helps all other lipid ingredients work harmoniously together.
RSPO Certified growers make up only 19% of the palm oil market. Bulk oil vendors have to show how and where they acquire the Palm Oil they sell. We are known for our transparency, so in support of that our supplier is Jedwards International and they are the ones holding the RSPO Certification. You can find proof of their certification at this link: https://rspo.org/members/1979/Jedwards-International-Inc.
So what does this actually mean? Certification can be confusing. Some suppliers will blend various grades from different sources, and not all are refraining from the negative practices. So RSPO instituted the RSPO PalmTrace, their traceability system for certified oil palm products. From the mill to the refineries, certified members of RSPO register their physical sales and processing activities of palm oil, palm kernel, and fractions under the supply chain model of Identity Preserved.
Jedwards Bulk RSPO IP Red Palm oil carries a unique certification where this certified palm oil is kept separate from ordinary palm throughout the entire supply chain. It is produced sustainably from a single RSPO certified mill and can be identified and traced back to this single source. RSPO IP certification gives us confidence in our purchasing decisions. We know Jedwards is supporting sustainable farming practices and better working conditions, pay, and resources offered to the farmers. These actions have a largely positive impact on the local working families and communities.
Addressing Customer Concerns
So when a customer has a concern about Palm, we are happy to share the news that we make sure the oil we use does not come from the negative palm oil system that damages the environment. In time, this will become more and more the norm. At Honey Sweetie Acres we have always been proactive in creating a premium product, rather than reactive. Choosing this route makes Palm Oil one of our most expensive ingredients rather than one of the cheapest.
We are happy to join with Pepsico, Walmart, and Unilever in 2020, taking the steps to protect Palm Oil as part of our business model and strategy. It is the RIGHT thing to do.