How much palm oil is in the margarine and butter blends used in your pastries?
Our pastry margarine contains 55-65% palm oil. Consequently, our Danish pastries contain 15-17% palm oil. The butter blends used in a small proportion of our French pastries contain 63% palm oil, resulting in 5-10% palm oil in the final product. However, most of our French pastries are made with pure butter.
Have you tried to produce pastry using an alternative source of vegetable oil?
If our customers ask for a palm-free recipe, we do our best to fulfil that request. (Our pure butter French pastries are always free of palm oil.) However, compared to other vegetable oils, palm oil has a unique texture and melting properties that makes it hard to replace without altering the characteristics of the final pastry. Up to the mid-1990s, margarine was typically made with partially hydrogenated fats, which contain trans fatty acids. Palm oil became the preferred alternative after it was discovered that trans fatty acids pose a potential health risk.
Where does the palm oil in your products come from?
All the palm oil we use comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85% of world production.
How do you ensure the palm oil in your products is sustainable?
We are a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not-for-profit association that works with stakeholders across the palm oil industry to make sustainable palm oil the norm. The first supplies of RSPO-certified palm oil became available in 2010. This was when we started buying RSPO Book and Claim certificates to offset the palm oil volumes in our products. Since the end of 2015, we have switched to RSPO-certified segregated palm oil at all our bakeries, with the exception of those acquired in 2015. These bakeries have until the end of 2016 to comply.
Why switch to certified segregated palm oil?
Like a lot of consumers, we want to ensure the palm oil in our products comes from plantations that are ethically run and not responsible for rainforest destruction. Many of our customers share this concern and request that the products they buy from us contain RSPO-certified segregated palm oil.
To embed this in our business approach, we have produced a palm oil policy, which serves as a guide for our procurement people and suppliers. The policy also covers the palm-containing emulsifiers and processing aids in some of our products.