By the end of 2015, all palm oil used in The Netherlands will be sustainable, as certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Today, all palm oil suppliers and buyers in the Dutch market, united in the Dutch Taskforce Sustainable Palm Oil, pledged to work collectively towards this goal. They did so in a Manifesto that was presented to the government of The Netherlands.
It is the first time a country rather than a company commits itself to using only sustainable palm oil. The Dutch Task Force was initiated by the Dutch Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils (MVO), which also participates in the global RSPO.
“Dutch business has long been closely involved in efforts to make the palm oil supply chain more sustainable. The country has been one of the front runners in this respect,” said Frans Claassen, Director of MVO. “Now, we commit ourselves to acting on our believes. Over the next few years, we will work very hard to ensure that all palm oil used in the Netherlands will be sustainable by the end of 2015. In other words, that it is purchased in accordance with one of the trading systems approved by the RSPO.”
“We call on other countries in Europe, North America and Asia to follow this example,” Claassen added.
Task Force participants include associations representing the Dutch refining industry, food manufacturing industry and feed industry. Together, they represent a significant share of the Dutch palm oil market.
The Manifesto was presented to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade, Mr. Henk Bleker, during a meeting in which the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam Novib were also present.
In his response, Minister Bleker said “the Task Force is a very good initiative that shows everyone can take responsibility. We will all benefit from sustainable palm oil, so this is good news for palm oil producers, for palm oil traders, and for Dutch consumers as well.”