The origin of palm oil can be traced back thousands of years. In the 15th century, Europeans used it as a food source in their travels through West Africa. Three centuries later, it was used as lubricant for machinery during the industrial revolution in Britain.
But it was in the mid-20th century that it would be embraced as an industrial ingredient in food manufacturing.
It is not difficult to understand why palm oil has grown in importance over the past centuries. Palm can be harvested year-round. Its yield per hectare is twice that of soy, rapeseed and sunflower combined. It is also the most multitalented of vegetable oils: it is used in various consumer retail food products (from pizza to candy bars), cosmetics and personal care products (from lipstick to shampoo), biofuel and pharmaceuticals, among many others.
Because palm only grows in tropical areas, decades of soaring demand have taken their toll on natural forests, biodiversity, and local communities.
While acknowledging that the industry as a whole must do more to ensure full traceability of palm oil, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) joined leading international sustainability organization The Forest Trust (TFT) as a member, to develop a tailored work plan aiming to drive good practices. We have now put in place its finalized palm policy, and once the work plan has been completed, TFT will support us in building and maintaining high levels of traceability, ensuring that the company’s suppliers strictly meet our policy’s standards.
As a company with global reach, we see it as our responsibility to continuously work towards sustainable production and most importantly, full traceability, not only in palm, but across all of our platforms.
To find out more about LDC’s commitment to sustainability, please visit the CSR section on our website.