GreenPalm, the sustainable palm oil certificate-trading program, will appeal to US baking companies to help tackle rainforest destruction and other environmental problems by supporting sustainable palm oil producers. Bob Norman of GreenPalm (Book & Claim) will be making the appeal to visitors at the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Oct. 6-9, 2013, at Booth 1576.

Semi-solid at room temperature, palm oil and palm kernel oil are amongst the world’s most versatile raw materials. As a result they can be found in one in two supermarket products including many baked goods; from cookies and pastries to bread and pies. In fact, the use of palm oil in the USA has tripled in the past decade, particularly in the baking industry where it is sometimes preferred as a healthier, trans fat-free alternative to traditional bakery fats.

However, its global popularity has fuelled rapid expansion of palm oil plantations, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, and the industry has been linked with environmental issues including greenhouse gas emissions and rainforest destruction, with the associated removal of habitats of endangered species such as the orangutan.

“Brands are beginning to take their reputations as responsible players in a global marketplace seriously. They understand the importance of providing reassurance to their customers in terms of what is in their products, where it came from and how it was made,” Norman says. “GreenPalm works by enabling manufacturers to pay a premium directly to palm oil producers who are working in line with rules set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and, to date, certified growers have received over $40 million via the GreenPalm program. This makes GreenPalm the fastest, simplest and most transparent method to show support for positive changes in the palm oil industry where it matters most – on the ground.”

Whilst a small number of consumer groups are putting pressure on manufacturers to guarantee that their products contain only segregated palm oil, to be able to claim that all palm oil ingredients are fully segregated is a tall order for many food manufacturers. Identifying an RSPO certified source of what is often a complex fraction, derivative or blend isn’t always simple. To maintain the integrity of the certified oil or derivative, each member of the supply chain, from the grower to the manufacturer, must be audited and a member of the RSPO.

“However, in an industry that involves interwoven supply chains and complicated fractionating processes, this is complex and therefore costly. For many businesses it is simply not commercially viable,” Norman says. “The infrastructure just isn’t there and this is where GreenPalm has a hugely important role to play.”

GreenPalm is an efficient solution for supporting RSPO-certified palm because it bypasses the supply chain. Manufacturers can off-set their palm use by buying GreenPalm certificates representing an equivalent volume that has been produced in line with RSPO principles and criteria. Suppliers stay the same but manufacturers can directly support sustainable palm productions at its source.

“Every time a business buys a GreenPalm certificate, they’ve directly supported sustainable palm oil growers whilst collaboration and engagement takes place within the physical supply chains," Norman says.

This transparency explains why Greenpalm membership has grown rapidly over the past five years, with over 700 members globally and support from leading global food brands such as Kellogg’s, Interbake, Maplehurst Bakeries and Mondel?z International (Kraft).

You can visit Bob Norman at Booth 1576 at IBIE or contact him at +44 (0) 7776-144-731 or