As a growing number of manufacturers are understanding the urgency of supporting the use of sustainable palm oil rather than boycotting it, American company Kraft Heinz has reportedly been asked to stop using confusing palm oil claims while marketing its new hazelnut butter in Canada. The company is promoting its Kraft Hazelnut Spread by saying it has “no palm oil and is low in saturated fat.”
The “no palm oil” phrase on labels has been used by proponents of total palm oil boycotts. However, it has been documented that banning palm oil in products would be counterproductive to efforts to preserve natural resources because it would increase deforestation. Palm oil requires as much as 10 times less acreage than other dietary oils such as soy or canola. It also requires less water, which is important as water scarcity becomes a global concern. Banning palm oil in products would increase the world’s reliance on less environmentally friendly oils.
In an article posted to Marketing-Interactive.com, reporter Apoorva Bansal wrote that the Secretariat of Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries has requested that Kraft Heinz “withdraw its negative campaign” which “was ambiguous on its palm-oil stand, whereby on one hand it was in the forefront in promoting the production and usage of sustainable palm oil, but on the other hand, it boycotted the products at the same time.”
Further, Bansal reported that the Secretariat “invited Kraft Heinz Company to not only to be consistent and respectful towards consumers’ intelligence and the dignity of the millions of people working along the supply chain, but also to consider a partnership to improve and strengthen sustainability.”
The Malaysian Sun reported that more than 85% of Malaysian palm oil plantations are now MSPO certified. The MSPO certification is nationally mandated to ensure that Malaysia, the second largest palm oil producer in the world, continues to preserve its natural resources.