Palm Oil Case Study: How Consumer Activism Led The Push For Sustainable Sourcing

  • DATAMONITOR VIEW
    • Catalyst
    • Summary
  • ANALYSIS
    • Palm oil is used in a variety of consumer packaged goods, but its use is controversial due to sustainability issues
      • Palm oil use has increased in packaged goods due to a range of perceived benefits
      • Claims that palm oil causes deforestation and high carbon emissions have fueled stakeholder criticism
    • Pressure groups have sought to heighten consumer awareness of the negatives of palm oil and encourage more sustainable production
      • Greenpeace has campaigned directly at companies it believes are encouraging unsustainable oil palm production
      • WWF has produced a Palm Oil Buyer’s Scorecard to expose companies with poor buying policies
      • Rainforest Action Network targets both the corporate suppliers and customers of palm oil
      • Consumer packaged goods companies have responded to heightened awareness by introducing a sustainable certifying scheme
      • The response of national governments has also intensified
      • Consumer interest in palm oil production is indicative of heightened interest in ethical and environmental issues in general
      • Expansion of palm oil production has been partly attributed to agribusiness giants Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill
    • Industry players have undertaken various measures to respond to palm oil concerns
      • Ethical retailers and producers have been proactive in developing relevant palm oil policies
      • Other global FMCG players are actively reviewing their palm oil policies in response to pressure group criticism
    • Conclusions and implications
  • APPENDIX
    • Case study series
    • Methodology
    • Secondary sources
    • Further reading
    • Ask the analyst
    • Datamonitor consulting
    • Disclaimer
  • TABLES
    • Table: Leading categories in launches containing palm oil, 2009–10
    • Table: Leading companies that launched products containing palm oil, 2009-10
  • FIGURES
    • Figure: Growing use of palm oil in the commercial food industry is buoyed by its lower cost and the high oxidative stability of the refined product when used for frying
    • Figure: Palm oil-driven deforestation has accelerated in Indonesia and Malaysia
    • Figure: The number of new products containing palm oil has grown substantially over the past five years
    • Figure: Palm oil and associated corporations have suffered considerable criticism in the media for their purported role in environmental destruction
    • Figure: The RSPO aims to engage all stakeholders in multilateral discussions on sustainable palm oil
    • Figure: The new RSPO logo must contend with the high number of other "green" logos vying for consumer recognition
    • Figure: Concerns about the loss of species and habitat are particularly pronounced in Brazil and Mexico, which is consistent with elevated environmental concerns in these countries
    • Figure: Individual carbon footprint has become more important to nearly half of global consumers
    • Figure: Consumers have demonstrated a growing interest in ingredient specifics, driven by their intensifying health and environmental consciousness
    • Figure: In May 2010, members of Rainforest Alliance Network occupied the suburban Minneapolis executive offices of Cargill to protest about the alleged destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests
    • Figure: Lush is to phase out the use of palm oil in its products and has developed a palm oil-free soap to highlight the environmental consequences of its production
    • Figure: Greenpeace successfully campaigned for Unilever to switch to more ethical palm oil suppliers
    • Figure: Nestlé's Facebook page was targeted by palm oil protesters, which helped to change the company's palm oil policies

Company Report

Published by
Datamonitor
Published on
11 Jan 2011
Product code
CSCM0319
Pages
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