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Iceland to be first UK major supermarket to remove palm oil from its label food

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Staff Writer | April 12, 2018
Iceland, the UK’s frozen food specialist, announced that it will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in all its own label food by the end of 2018.
Nature   The project is already well underway
Today it can report that the project is already well underway, with palm oil successfully removed from 50 percent of its own label range; 130 products will have been reformulated by the end of the year.

Already this year, Iceland has brought out 100 new lines without palm oil, including the new summer range, and by the start of 2019 will have launched over 200 new lines that do not contain palm oil.

Growing demand for palm oil for use in food products, cosmetics and biodiesel is devastating tropical rainforests across South East Asia.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, where expanding palm oil and wood pulp plantations are the biggest driver of deforestation, many species are being threatened with extinction, including the orangutan, already critically endangered.

Recently published studies show that Bornean orangutan numbers more than halved between 1999 and 2015, with only 70,000–100,000 individuals remaining. In Indonesia alone, 146 football pitches of rainforests are lost every hour.

Deforestation also results in increased global carbon emissions. In 2014, Indonesia had the fourth largest greenhouse gas emissions, mostly as a result of deforestation.

Palm oil is currently found in 50 percent of all supermarket products, from bread to biscuits and breakfast cereal to soap.

Despite this: 35 percent of consumers are unaware of what palm oil is; onnce informed about palm oil and its effects on the environment, 85 percent state that they do not believe palm oil should be used in food products.