FrieslandCampina opts for sustainable palm oil

2 November 2010

As of 2011, dairy company FrieslandCampina will exclusively purchase sustainably produced palm oil. Palm oil and palm oil products are used as ingredients in for example, coffee creamers and fat powders for the food industry.

FrieslandCampina made this decision in the context of its sustainability policy and in this way hopes to contribute to increasingly sustainable solutions for the production of agrarian raw materials while promoting the conservation of tropical rain forests and biodiversity. Sustainability is a key element of FrieslandCampina’s strategic plan, route2020 that was announced in June 2010.

International criteria sustainable palm oil (RSPO)
By sustainable palm oil, we mean palm oil that is certified according to the principles and criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The palm oil is treated according to one of the three trading systems approved by the RSPO: ‘segregation’, ‘mass balance’ or ‘book & claim’. Social organisations such as Solidaridad and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) were closely involved in preparing these sustainability criteria. FrieslandCampina has been affiliated with the RSPO since 2007.

Under the ‘segregation’ model, the palm oil is guaranteed to originate from approved and certified plantations. For palm oil plantation owners this means, among other things, an embargo on deforestation of tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia and expropriation of land. Conditions governing the use of plant protection products and the responsible use of waste (water) flows have also been laid out. Furthermore, the processing and transport of this palm oil is also guaranteed to be separated from unsustainably produced oil.

Not all palm oil products such as palm fractions and palm nut oil are as yet available from RSPO certified plantations. These products are purchased according to the so-called ‘mass balance’ system. This is a combination of sustainably produced palm oil products and non-certified products that are administratively monitored.
To compensate for the use of palm oil products that are still only available from non-certified plantations, sustainability certificates will be purchased according to the ‘book & claim’ system as is also applied to green energy.

Sustainable residual flows for cattle feed
Residual products from palm oil production such as palm nut flakes are particularly suitable for animal feed owing to their high protein content. As a result of the guaranteed purchase of sustainably produced palm oil, more sustainable residual flows are made available to the cattle feed industry. Together with the Nevedi (Dutch Association for the Feed Industry), FrieslandCampina will examine the opportunities to make greater use of sustainable residual flows for cattle feed.

Background

Sustainability in route2020 strategy
Sustainability is an important driver within FrieslandCampina’s strategy, route2020. Other key drivers in the organisation’s sustainability policy are: Nutrition & Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Care and Community Involvement.

In the context of purchasing sustainable raw materials, a start was made with responsibly produced soy in feed for dairy cattle in 2006. It was agreed to only process soy in raw materials for animal feed that has been cultivated according to the criteria set out by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS). FrieslandCampina ensures that the volume of sustainably produced soy on the market corresponds to the quantity of soy used in the concentrated feed given to cows for the production of its own brand products in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Together with the cattle feed industry, united in the Nevedi, it was decided within the context of the Sustainable Soy Initiative (Initiatief Duurzame Soya) that from 2015, all soy that is processed in feed for dairy cattle will be cultivated in a sustainable way and meet the RTRS criteria. This marks the completion of the initiative, which was launched in 2006 together with the social organisations, and sustainable soy in feed for cattle has now become a matter of course. 
In June 2010, FrieslandCampina announced its intention to use sustainably produced cocoa for Chocomel. Of all the cocoa used for Chocomel, ten per cent is purchased as UTZ CERTIFIED (care for humans, the environment and responsible production). It is intended that in 2014 all the cocoa needed to produce Chocomel will be purchased in this way. At present, there is insufficient sustainably produced cocoa available to meet all the Chocomel production needs.

In addition to purchasing sustainably produced raw materials, animal welfare/health, FrieslandCampina also focuses on sustainable energy and climate in its sustainability policy. In September of this year, the organisation concluded a cooperative agreement with energy supplier Essent for the production and supply of green energy by member dairy farmers of FrieslandCampina in the Netherlands. Via FrieslandCampina, dairy farmers can get support from Essent in making the transition to producing green energy from, for example, manure fermentation. FrieslandCampina buys so-called green certificates from the dairy farmers via Essent. In this way, dairy farmers, Essent and FrieslandCampina are making important steps towards sustainable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy chain.