The 2019 Italian Union for Sustainable Palm Oil annual report revealed that it’s nearing its goal of using 100 percent sustainable palm oil. The report states that 92 percent of the palm oil used in Italy comes from sustainable sources. It also identified five challenges hindering progress. These include misleading messages about palm oil and poor recognition of products containing sustainable palm oil.
The Union was created in 2015 to promote the use of sustainable palm oil in Italy by companies producing consumer goods, and to coordinate communication activities for consumer awareness.
Its report listed five critical issues facing the palm oil industry.
- The demonization of palm oil and the widespread use of ‘palm oil-free’ claims
- Lack of discussion based on scientific evidence
- Public debate focused mainly on the topic of “health” and nutritional aspects
- Consumers less involved in the issue of deforestation and poorly informed about the presence of sustainability certification
- Poor recognizability of products containing certified sustainable palm oil
To achieve the goal of 100 percent sustainable palm oil use in Italy, the Union called for increased involvement from Italian industry certifying the sustainability of the supply chain. The Union also asked for greater support from the retail sector, which can exert influence through branded products.
These challenges have plighted the palm oil industry for years as explained in the following articles: Stop Demonizing Palm Oil, The Imbalanced Argument on Palm Oil Continues, and Is it Smart to Ban Palm Oil?
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