Iceland Ireland today announced that it will stop using palm oil as an ingredient in all its own label food by the end of 2018.
“Today the project is already well underway, with palm oil successfully removed from 50 per cent of its own label range; 130 products will have been reformulated by the end of the year across the 21 stores currently open in Ireland,” the frozen food specialist said in a statement.
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.
According to the UK retailer, Palm oil is currently found in 50% of all supermarket products, from bread to biscuits and breakfast cereal to soap, however 35% of consumers are unaware of what palm oil is.
“Palm is the world’s most popular vegetable: manufacturers love it because it is cheap and easy to use, and as a result it is now found in 50 per cent of all supermarket products from ice cream and biscuits to detergent and lipstick,” said Ron Metcalfe, managing director of Iceland Ireland.
Metcalfe explained that growing global demand for palm oil means that, in Indonesia, an area of rainforest the size of 146 football pitches is being cut down every hour, causing devastating damage to the animals and people that depend on the forest, and to the global environment.
“That is why Iceland has taken the ethical decision that we will remove palm oil from our own brand food until we can guarantee that it is not causing rainforest destruction,” he added.
“Until now, consumers had no choice in the matter. By simply saying ‘no to palm oil’, we are giving our customers the opportunity to do the same.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.