FrieslandCampina has established its sustainable palm oil policy in 2010 and this is agreed with and endorsed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). We have committed to source 100 percent sustainable palm oil as from 2011; not only in Europe but also in Asia and Africa. This policy is valid for palm oil, palm oil fractions, palm kernel oil, palm kernel oil fractions and palm-based emulsifiers.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

FrieslandCampina is a member of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil since 2007. Together with palm oil farmers, industry and trade organisations as well as NGOs, we contribute to making palm oil production sustainable. In this framework, FrieslandCampina works actively together with the World Wildlife Fund to support sustainable palm oil production in relevant countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia and Malaysia produce ca 85-90 percent of all palm oil. Palm oil is an important part of the economy in these areas. The major drawbacks of the production of palm oil in these areas are both social issues (e.g. land ownership conflicts, workers’ rights and conditions and treatment of smallholders) and environmental issues such as rainforest, peatland conversions, climate change, and biodiversity loss. FrieslandCampina wants to further improve the sustainability of the production of agricultural raw materials and the preservation of the tropical rainforest and biodiversity. FrieslandCampina actively promotes the use of RSPO palm oil and has won the Sustainable Palm Award 2012 from the Dutch Task Force Sustainable Palm Oil. On the Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard 2011 and 2013 of WWF good scores were given to the execution of the sustainable palm oil policy of FrieslandCampina. Also on the Dutch Palm Oil Scorecard 2015 from WWF good scores were given.


Annually, FrieslandCampina uses about 100,000 tonnes of palm based products for its production of, among other things, creamers, fat powders, toppings and sweetened condensed milk. This is 100 percent RSPO palm oil as of 2011 and all our palm based products suppliers are RSPO members. In 2015, we sourced about 50 percent via the physical supply chain model Segregated (guaranteed to originate from approved and certified plantations) and by the Mass Balance model. The remaining volume is sourced via the Book & Claim model. Several FrieslandCampina production locations in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Indonesia are RSPO-SCCS certified.

Enhanced Sustainable Palm Oil Principles

Within the palm oil industry many initiatives are taken to improve the traceability and enhance the RSPO Principles and Criteria with three specific objectives:

  • No deforestation;
  • No peatland development ;
  • No exploitation of people and local communities.

Since 2015, FrieslandCampina palm oil suppliers are required to fully support these initiatives and all suppliers have committed to be active in implementing ways-of-working to ensure the palm oil supplied to FrieslandCampina is in line with the following requirements:

  • No deforestation, no development on High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and High Conservation Value (HCV) areas.
  • No burning of forests to clear land.
  • Progressively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing plantations and mill operations.
  • No development on peat lands, regardless of depth.
  • Fully respect human rights, including the rights of indigenous and local communities to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to operations on lands to which they hold legal, communal or customary rights.
  • Traceability, i.e. palm oil can be traced back to the palm oil mills.


What is sustainable palm oil?

Sustainable palm oil is grown according to/complies with the 8 basic principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in order to contribute to mitigating the negative impact that the cultivation of palm oil has on the environment and communities:

  1. Transparency.
  2. Compliance with laws and regulations.
  3. Commitment to economic and financial viability.
  4. Use of appropriate best practices by growers and millersTake responsibility for the environment and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity.
  5. Environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity.
  6. Responsible consideration of employees and of individuals and communities affected by growers and mills.
  7. Responsible development of new plantings.
  8. Commitment to continuous improvement in key areas of activity.

Source: RSPO

Which countries produce sustainable palm oil?

Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea produce approximately 97 percent of all sustainable palm oil. The remaining palm oil is produced in other tropical countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America


According to the World Wildlife Fund, the RSPO is the only credible certification scheme for sustainable palm oil because it is a robust standard that is independently audited and also controls the supply of RSPO in the market.

Why does non-certified palm oil contribute to climate change?

Destruction of forests causes climate change, as felled and burned trees and vegetation release climate warming GHGs into the atmosphere. A particular problem for parts of Indonesia and Malaysia is that almost a fifth of palm oil expansion has taken place on peat soils. Clearing and draining these soils releases CO2. Up to 66 percent of all climate change emissions from palm oil plantations come from the 17 percent of plantations on peat soils.

What is the proportion RSPO of the total production of palm oil?

In 2014, 16 percent of the world’s palm oil is certified sustainable (9.7 million tonnes), up from 10 percent in 2011.

What kind of trading systems are there for RSPO palm oil?

  1. ‘Segregation’ model: the palm oil is guaranteed to originate from approved and certified plantation
  2. Mass balance: Not all palm oil products, such as palm fractions and palm kernel oil, are currently available from RSPO certified plantation 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.
  3. Book & Claim: 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.