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Posted 21 October 2022 - 03:37 PM



We are a small manufacturer of RTE products in the UK. We sell in bulk to sandwich manufacturers and caterers. 

Recently, a supplier advised that a processing aid that they use derived from sunflower oil will be replaced by one derived by palm oil due to the deficiencies of sunflower oil on the market.


The manufacturer is RSPO certified.


We advised our customer about the change and one customer now requires that we also have to be RSPO certified otherwise they will stop buying.


Can anyone help please to explain the reasoning beyond this requirement and how we could proceed? 


I will be extremely grateful for a quick help as we need to respond urgently.


BTW - Palm oil is used only only in one raw material that we buy as a processing aid. We do not make label claims.


Many thanks in advance.

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Posted 21 October 2022 - 03:54 PM



By your facility handling RSPO certified palm oil, from a quick look at the RSPO website, you should also become RSPO certified. 


I am not super familiar, but this would ensure that you are continually using RSPO certified suppliers. You could easily tell your customers that you are using RSPO cert suppliers, but you being certified would be a way to guarantee that you actually are using it.


Hopefully someone else with more experience in this can add.

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Posted 21 October 2022 - 03:56 PM

What exactly did you tell your customer about your process and use of the processing aid?


Sounds like they have misunderstood the RSPO ---I would interrupt "handle" as sales and distribution and NOT end user as this would require EVERYONE to be certified and that doesn't make sense


To ensure the credibility of palm oil sustainability claims, all RSPO members that take legal ownership and produce or handle RSPO-certified sustainable oil palm products need to be RSPO certified. At the heart of this process are the RSPO Principles & Criteria.



Further more, the site goes on to talk about membership over 500 metric tonnes and under 500 metric tonnes  The 4 ounces you may use is inconsequential IMO

Edited by Scampi, 21 October 2022 - 03:59 PM.

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Posted 22 October 2022 - 02:57 AM

I have never heard of a customer requiring RSPO for a supplier that is only using a scant amount as a processing aid. Frankly having worked with Costa Rican harvesters they all thought RSPO was an evil scam and I feel the same way..

You should just tell your customer that you use palm oil as a procesding aid, that it is not a part of the product andcit is the product producers and harvesters that are RSPONand that you can provide your suppliers RSPO CERT to them.

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Glenn Oster.







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Posted 23 October 2022 - 04:18 PM

There are plenty of businesses in the UK who are very obsessed with palm oil and RSPO - we've had quite a bit of negative press on environmental impacts, and e.g. the Iceland supermarket publicly announcing they will cease all use in their own-brand products.


As post #2 noted, the certification element is primarily about maintaining the chain of custody from RSPO producer through to the final manufacturer - whoever your customer is will presumably have a corporate position (or customers with corporate positions) that all palm derivatives have to be RSPO, and some will go further and specify RSPO segregated rather than "just" RSPO mass balance as their requirement.


I'd start by seeing if there is someone senior at the customer end with whom you can have a discussion, as for a single carryover process aid it might be possible to get a concession, particularly given the reasoning behind the change.

Otherwise you'll need to find out which scheme (e.g. mass balance or segregated) your customer wants, which scheme your supplier is using, and then contact RSPO to have a chat about how you might implement certification.

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