Oil palm is an oil plant that gives the best crop per area under cultivation. Palm oil is used in many foodstuffs, for example margarines, baked goods, snacks and ice creams. The continuous expansion of palm oil production into new areas in the tropics is a threat to biodiversity and causes deforestation and significant greenhouse gas emissions. It may also involve human rights violations of the employees and indigenous people. However, palm oil is often a significant source of income for the region in which it is produced. This is why it is important to promote palm oil production that is sustainable from an environmental and economic point of view.
Kesko recommends the use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) to manufacturers of Pirkka products and Kespro's Menu products. The objective is that all palm oil used in Pirkka products and Kespro's Menu products will be CSPO by the year 2020.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes sustainable production of palm oil. RSPO members include palm oil growers and processors, food manufacturers and large store chains. The organisation has several hundreds of members in all. See www.rspo.org. Kesko is a member of the RSPO.
The palm oil policy was published on 11 2011.