Palm Oil: Regulation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of introducing a ban on non-sustainable palm oil.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to support and protect the world’s forests, supporting sustainable agriculture and zero-deforestation supply chains, including for palm oil.

Through the Amsterdam Declarations and the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 we are working with businesses and other governments to strengthen governance, promote market-based solutions and put in place incentives, policies and actions that support sustainable production of palm oil alongside forest protection.

In 2012, Defra published the UK Statement on the Sustainable Production of Palm Oil which was signed by trade associations, NGOs and Government and aimed to achieve 100% sourcing of credibly certified sustainable palm oil. The latest report from the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil indicates that based on their revised baseline data and methodology, the UK achieved 75% certified sustainable palm oil in 2017. The Roundtable has agreed to report annually on progress and work with other signatories to the Amsterdam Declaration on increasing the uptake of sustainable palm oil. While we are not proposing to bring forward a ban, we recognise that more remains to be done and will continue to explore opportunities to improve the sustainability of palm oil production.

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