Palm Oil

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will work with her international counterparts to bring forward EU legislative proposals to regulate the (a) sale, (b) possession and (c) purchase of unsustainable palm oil.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are in contact with other member states regarding their policies to promote sustainable palm oil. In particular, we are keen to learn from Dutch and Belgian colleagues on the commitments their industries have made to use 100% sustainable palm oil. We are working to replicate this in the UK and, as my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced as part of his recent visit to Indonesia, we are working with British trade associations to set out a roadmap for sustainable palm oil usage nationwide.

We are also actively engaging with the European Commission's study into the impacts of EU consumption of imported food and non-food commodities on deforestation. This includes a review of Community policy areas with the greatest potential for reducing pressure on forests beyond the EU and to ensure that options for addressing impacts from palm oil are considered. There are no plans at present for an EU-wide legislative approach, but we will be pressing the Commission to provide robust proposals once its consultant's report has been finalised.

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