The Palm Oil Network Switzerland is the centre of excellence and a discussion forum for the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. Its members pool their resources to promote the sustainable development of palm oil production. The founding members of the Network are Barry Callebaut, Coop, Florin, Migros, M-Industry, Nestlé Switzerland, Nutriswiss and Pro Fair Trade.
Through the Palm Oil Network, key players in the food supply chain have joined forces to speak with a single voice and implement joint projects aimed at improvement. The Palm Oil Network aims to continue developing the RSPO standard and improve the implementation of RSPO directives in the supply chain. Through the importers Florin and Nutriswiss the members already import 100% of their palm oil from RSPO-certified and segregated sources.
In a Memorandum of Understanding the members of the Palm Oil Network have set the following goals:
- Additional criteria that exceed the current RSPO standard must be implemented by suppliers. An implementation plan ensures that suppliers are continuously improving and all additional criteria will be complied with until 2025.
- The aim is to ensure full traceability – ideally all the way to the plantations – by the year 2025. This goal has already been achieved for palm oil and palm kernel oil. Not so, however, for stearin. That is because palm stearin is processed and, as far as Switzerland is concerned, produced in hundreds of mills.
- As market conditions are constantly changing, the Palm Oil Network aims to implement innovative processes and policies, for instance the development of sustainability standards for other tropical oils, such as coconut oil.
- The members of the Palm Oil Network, after all, want their commitment to bear fruit and therefore regularly measure their relative success and inform the general public about advances and challenges.
In order to achieve the goals of the declaration of intent by 2025, the palm oil network has drawn up an implementation concept under the leadership of Florin. On the one hand, this envisages implementing additional criteria in the supply chains where the RSPO standard has gaps. On the other hand, improvement projects will be initiated in areas where the RSPO criteria are more difficult to monitor and where there is potential on the ground.
The members of the Palm Oil Network Switzerland are aware of the environmental and social problems that palm oil production has caused in recent years. For several years, therefore, they have been working to achieve a sustainable palm oil sector:
«Barry Callebaut has committed to source 100% of its raw materials sustainably by 2025 and already purchases RSPO-certified palm oil for almost all of the palm oil used in Western Europe. As a member of the Palm Oil Innovation Group we are actively driving further improvements of sustainability standards and transparency and are working with our suppliers on these topics.»Massimo Selmo, Head of Global Sourcing Barry Callebaut
«Coop also relies on Bio Suisse-certified palm oil for its conventional own brand food products. This palm oil comes from strictly sustainable production. Where appropriate, Coop switches to other oils and fats, if possible domestic ones. Coop also wants only sustainable palm oil to be used in the brand products it sells. To achieve this, Coop is actively engaged in the Palm Oil Network Switzerland.»Raphael Schilling, Project Leader Sustainability Coop
«Migros already uses RSPO-certified palm oil which also includes further criteria. We want to consistently pursue this path and achieve our goals for sustainable palm oil production together with the Palm Oil Network Switzerland.»Bernhard Kammer, Head of Ecology & Sustainability Label Federation of Migros Cooperatives
«Nestlé is working very hard to promote traceability and transparency along the palm oil supply chain. New technologies such as the satellite-based Starling monitoring system, the result of a collaboration with Airbus and Earthworm, are instrumental in assisting and enabling us to uncover or monitor illegal activities such as logging and land encroachment. Furthermore, our goal is also to make all our suppliers transparent to the general public.»Christian Mueller, Corporate & Agricultural Affairs Nestlé Switzerland