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IMPACT REPORT European Palm Oil Alliance


Executive Summary Regarding the palm oil debate, Europe is on a fast way forward. Negative attention on social media and in politics may seem to harm the image of palm oil and increase the tension at government level and in the public domain. At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to show our pride, talk about our achievements and reach out to new stakeholders sharing our objectives and approach to reach 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe. Carefully listening to each other and sharing concerns through commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and acknowledging and addressing hurdles, enables all stakeholders to view the different angles in the discussion and work towards viable and widely carried solutions. Working with a common agenda that supports key players in the supply chain, we believe that in the long run we can rebalance any polarised view on palm oil in Europe and can create a true move towards 100% Sustainable palm oil in Europe and beyond. According to the 2017-year plan, the results of the EPOA interventions to rebalance the debate on palm oil in food and achieve 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe can be summarised as follows: 1. Engagement and outreach to NGO’s, retailers and government at EU and local level by the EPOA secretariat and its members or through empowerment of partners such as ESPO, ESPOAG,

FEDIOL, RSPO, the ADG group and the national alliances on sustainable palm oil and their members. • Continued outreach to NGO’s resulted in formal partnerships and support by NGOs at local level, formal commitment by WWF and Conservation international to the Road to 2020 project and initial talks have started on cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute at EU level. • 7 Countries have now signed the Amsterdam Declaration: in June, the Italian government signed and joined 6 other countries (the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France, Denmark and Norway) in The Amsterdam Declaration in Support of a Fully Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain by 2020. 2. Organising and speaking at meetings and events to strengthen the relationship with existing partners and extend our network of allies and initiatives, helping disseminate our messages to a wider audience. • In May, EPOA organised the annual Industry meeting on palm oil as well as an executive high-level working dinner. The outcome was to better cooperate between stakeholders in the palm oil debate in Europe, seek ways to improve understanding of palm oil in food by co-creating a European Education Campaign on sustainable palm oil and increase alignment and cooperation between the National Initiatives. • EPOC 2017 was co-organised with ESPOAG with active involvement of ESPO resulting in engagement from NGO’s, government and companies to a new project ‘the Road to 2020’ to communicate progress towards 100% sustainable palm oil, telling the positive stories


on the move to sustainable palm oil, paving the way for other companies to join. Representing EPOA at major events and speaking with stakeholders on sustainable palm oil in food throughout Europe increased our network and trust in our organisation. Better cooperation between national initiatives and on monitoring of sustainable palm oil uptake in EU and the countries was addressed at new Linking and Learning sessions.

3. Setting up new initiatives on Sustainable Palm Oil in relevant countries and attracting new members to EPOA. • In total 10 countries now have a formal commitment to 100% sustainable palm oil. • In June, The UK Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil was re-launched. • Mid - 2017, the Spanish Foundation on Sustainable Palm Oil was launched. • Lipidos Santiga pledged to become full member of EPOA in 2018. 4. Creating new engaging material and communication channels to tell the palm oil story. • New and engaging communication and educational material was developed and shared. at EPOA, member and partner events • LinkedIn was introduced as a new channel of communication. 5. Handling issue management together with our partners could limit impact and effects on the reputation of palm oil on topics that were out of

scope at EPOA. A few policy developments were of influence on the debate of palm oil in food. • Food contaminants. FEDIOL is in the lead on contaminants in fats and oils and agreed to inform EPOA members of important developments. • Glycidyl Esters (GE): FEDIOL members voluntary agreed to 1 PPM limit by 1 Sept 2017.

Note on MCPDE: a new EFSA report in January 2018 re-evaluated the risk of 3-MCPDE and concluded a Tolerable Daily Intake of 2 mcg per kg bodyweight per day. Although the initial report gained wide attention in several countries, little coverage followed this new publication

ENVI report on palm oil and deforestation. • The preliminary outcome of the report at EC level was more constructive and seeking cooperation with producing countries. • The vote on bio fuel at the European Parliament late 2017 negatively impacted the reputation of palm oil, with public attention slightly switching from food to bio fuel.


Focus in 2018-2020 In line with the recommendations in this report, and in line with the presented year plan for 2018 we will focus in the coming 3 years on continuing to: 1. Explain progress and tell factual and positive stories on reaching 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe and reach out to lagging companies in the ‘Road to 2020’ project. 2. Expand the use of social media and fact based material, organise meetings and events and engage or partner up with NGO’s, retailers and governments to become a trusted authority on palm oil in food among stakeholders and in the public domain. 3. Empower EPOA members and partners through E-learning and workshops and improve the cooperation with and between the country initiatives on sustainable palm oil in Europe. 4. Extend our network by attracting new EPOA members (companies and associations of palm oil producing countries) and create a new local initiative on sustainable palm oil in Poland. 5. Enhance efficiency by reducing the number of working groups, with three working groups remaining; nutrition, sustainability and communication and manage issues in close cooperation with our partners.


EPOA through the years In 2017, compared to previous years, EPOA has reached out to a much wider audience, either directly or indirectly through partnerships at EU level and local initiatives.

This reflects an increase in trust in EPOA and its members and an amplified network through cooperation with our partners.

Below will find a brief overview of the EPOA EU outreach and engagement activities from 2013 to 2017.

EPOA progress  &  impact  2013-­‐ 2017 2013



Germany, France

Norway, France,  Belgium Watching  Italy,  Germany,   Spain,  Poland

France, Belgium,  Norway,  Sweden,   Denmark,  Germany,  Italy.  Watching   Spain,  Russia,  Poland  &  Czech  and  CH


SAFA Messaging,   Print  ad   campaign

Infographics, EPOA   website  Video,  Brochures,   Scientific  posters,  banner   click  through,  Q&A

Twitter, blogs,  news  alerts,   Twitter,  blogs,  news  alerts,  media   media  conferences,  keynotes,   conferences,  keynotes,  Ambassador   Ambassador  programme,   programme,  issues  management   alignment  National  Initiatives,   training       ESPO,  RSPO,  NGO.s


Nutella Tax,  FIC   labelling,  Ukraine   tax,  Norway  out   of  palm

Belgium senate  tax,   no  palm  oil  labelling,  

Italian petition,  free  from  palm  oil,   EFSA  3MCPD  &  GE

Spanish petition,  retailer   campaigns  against  palm  oil,   free  from  palm  oil,  EFSA   3MCPD  &  GE

Spanish petition,  retailer  campaigns   against  palm  oil,  free  from  palm  oil,   EFSA  3MCPD  &  GE


Manufacturers’ roundtable,   French  Alliance,   ESPOAG

+ RSPO,  SAP,  ESPOAG,   CREDOC,  Nordics,  Germany,   BASP

+ Denmark,  Italian  Union,  IDH,   ESPO,  Norway,  MPOB

+ governments  EU  &  PO   producing  countries,    FEDIOL,   Spanish  stakeholders,   Greenpeace,  WWF

+ Lipidos  Santiga  SA,  PO  producing   countries,  Spanish  Foundation,  Polish   Task  Force,  new  secretariats  (SV,  DK,   B,  UK),  Conservation  International

EPOC Paris

EP event  Brussels,  Nordic  Lipid   Forum,  EPOC  Brussels,   Eurofed Lipid,  EU  industry   meeting,  ISSFAL,  RSPO  events  

EPOC Milan,  NutrEvent,  PLMA,   European  Industry  meeting,  EFL,  FENS,   Convergences,  VoedingsSalon,  SAFA   Expert  Meeting,  BUZA/ESPO   conference

EPOC Warsaw,  European   Industry  meeting  and   alignment  workshps

EPOC Brussels,  European  Industry   meeting





Belgium, France,  Italy,  Norway, Sweden,    Denmark,  Germany,   Spain. Watching  Poland  &   Czech  ,  Austria,  CH  and  Turkey

Belgium, France,  Italy,  Norway, Sweden,    Denmark,  Germany,  UK,   Spain, Poland,  watching  Czech  ,   Austria,  and  CH Twitter,  blogs,  news  alerts,  media   conferences,  keynotes,  positions,   alignment  National  Initiatives,  ESPO,   RSPO,  NGO.s



EPOA year report 2017 Below you will find the main developments and results of the EPOA 2017 activities and interventions to rebalance the debate on palm oil in food in Europe and achieve 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe by 2020.


Aligned on max achievable limits

Results are presented at EU-level, in the European countries that we are engaged in and within the EPOA working groups.

Amsterdam Declaration 7 countries signed, 2 pending


Aligned on EU deforestation approach

NGO support

NGO support for SPO

GE: 1 Sept - voluntary 1 PPM limit agreed by FEDIOL.

Engaged with ESPO and local initiatives (IDH) to create support for the Amsterdam Declaration.

EP report on palm oil and deforestation Improved contacts with Greenpeace, published. WWF, Conservation International and other vocal EU NGOs.

FEDIOL and industry provided input in public consultation. Now 1 mo WTO and 2 mo ER. Expected into force Q1 2018.

Italy signed Amsterdam Declaration.

EPOA position/reflection on EP report.

Note on MCPDE: new balanced EFSA report in 2018 TDI 2.0 kg per day per bw. Low media coverage, FEDIOL lead.

UK initiative on SPO relaunched, Spanish Foundation on SPO launched.

EC response more balanced and constructive seeking cooperation with producing countries.

Consumer product labelling / Retailer engagement EUFIC study ‘free from’ presented & active retailer engagement


Active outreach & engagement new government


Addressing NPO campaigns / Signing Amsterdam declaration

National initiatives SPO work closely with local NGOs. International cooperation pending.


Launch & active engagement

EUFIC presentation at Industry meeting (now publicly available).

Highly engaged multi-stakeholder event.

Public information campaign to address misinformation on palm oil.

Retailer / expert and RSPO event.

Joined visit with NGO Conservation International to retailers in Norway.

Active engagement to new government & joined task force sustainability (multi crops).

Supported the Italian Union in building a case for AGCM investigation.

Retailer visit to refinery.

Joined Task Force to engage Poland.

Social media engagement.

Outreach to government.


EPOA outreach, issues & EU policy developments New members and initiatives on SPO in 2017 • In 2017, EPOA joined a EU Polish Market Task Force, initiated by RSPO and joined by several retailers, manufacturers as well as WWF, to help set up a Polish initiative on Sustainable Palm oil. • In June, the UK Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil renewed its commitment to 100% SPO in 2020 and reached out to the remaining 22% of palm oil that was not certified. • Mid-2017 the Spanish Foundation on Sustainable palm oil was formally launched, being the 10th country alliance with a commitment to sustainable palm oil. • In November 2017, Lipidos Santiga pledged to join EPOA as a full member in 2018. General outreach, meetings and events In 2017: • In May, EPOA organised the annual Industry meeting on palm oil as well as an executive highlevel working dinner. At the dinner, stakeholders across the palm oil industry, including retail, participated in an engaging workshop. The outcome was to better cooperate between stakeholders in the palm oil debate in Europe, seek ways to improve understanding of palm oil in food by creating a European Education Campaign on sustainable palm oil and increase alignment and cooperation between the National Initiatives. • EPOC 2017 was co-organised with ESPOAG with active involvement of ESPO. The title was ‘taking responsibility in sustainability’, and

the conference focused on the relevance of sustainable palm oil to achieving the SDG’s as well as the importance to improve socioeconomic development in order to halt deforestation and protect biodiversity. In 2018 focus will be on smallholders and socio-economic development as well as deforestation and the contribution of palm oil production to achieving the SDG’s. EPOC 2017 showed that the public and private sector must work together to truly transform supply chains. A lot of progress has been made and we have good stories to tell to engage more companies in the move to 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe. As a result of EPOC it was decided to start ‘Road to 2020’, a joint project with a.o. WWF, Conservation International, Ferrero, Unilever, ESPO and EPOA telling the factual and positive stories on the move to sustainable palm oil, paving the way for other companies to join. On several occasions, EPOA met with Malaysian and Indonesian delegations and government representatives including minister Mah Siew Kiong from The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities in Malaysia. The Malaysian Chamber of Commerce also invited EPOA, represented by Eddy Esselink to speak at their event in Kuala Lumpur. Thijs Pasmans, Secretary of the EPOA Sustainability Working group, spent three months in Indonesia to better understand the position of smallholders in the palm oil production. Visits with representatives from both Indonesia and Malaysia aimed to strengthen the cooperation between Europe and the main palm oil producing countries. In order to share the


EPOA message and seek additional membership, EPOA also met with representatives from other palm oil producing countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Thailand, Cote d’ Ivoire). In 2018, EPOA will continue its efforts to engage with palm oil producing countries and extend EPOA membership to include countries outside of Asia. To increase membership base, EPOA met with several refining and producing companies, resulting in the pledge from Lipidos Santiga to become an EPOA member in 2018. In 2018 EPOA will continue to seek additional members to strengthen its position to transform the European palm oil market towards sustainable palm oil and rebalance the debate on palm oil in food. EPOA sponsored RSPO’s 5th annual European Roundtable at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in central London. The EPOA stand and the Virtual Reality tour received many visitors, and attendees expressed a huge interest in EPOA material and messages. EPOA will need to focus efforts on distributing existing EPOA material among new stakeholders and within the countries. Margot Logman represented EPOA at the WTO (Word Trade Organization) Public Forum 2017 in Geneva, stating the importance of producing palm oil in a sustainable way to halt deforestation, protecting biodiversity and feeding the world for generations to come, and that banning palm oil is counterproductive. The forum provided excellent opportunities to engage with other palm oil producing countries and extend alignment and membership base in 2018. In December, Margot Logman met with Jane Goodall, a conservationist well-known to many

NGO’s fighting climate change, to explore opportunities to cooperate on sustainable palm oil through third parties. Beginning of 2018, a meeting will be organised to discuss concrete steps between EPOA, Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute, the French Alliance, local and international ZOO associations and the RSPO secretariat. The EPOA secretariat met on several occasions with the National Initiatives to align messages, address issues, share material and seek synergy. Margot Logman and the EPOA secretariat represented EPOA at several meetings of the National initiatives, including external meetings by the newly set up Spanish Foundation on SPO. More and more the secretariats from different national initiatives are contacting each other to inform on issues, align messages and share country approaches. The country level is where EPOA can make a big difference. However, funding and secretariat support have not kept pace with the increasing number of countries and topics that require attention. In 2018, in order to improve synergy, EPOA will organise linking and learning sessions with representatives of the national initiatives on a more regular basis. EPOA presented key nutritional issues and the full story on palm oil in food at technical sales meetings of EPOA members. In 2018 EPOA will start to implement internal E-learning modules and workshops to create better understanding at the company level and empower its members to tell the palm oil story. On a regular base, the EPOA members, the national initiatives on sustainable palm oil as well as the key EPOA contacts were informed

about important developments regarding the nutritional and / or sustainability aspects of palm oil (science, policy and politics), either via direct mail or personal briefings. In 2018 EPOA will enhance the efforts to inform its members and contacts on issues and important development related to palm oil in food. Monitoring and local issues • The response to a petition against palm oil in infant formula in Spain was hampered by the lack of a local initiative at the time. EPOA had written Q&As and distributed these among known contacts and stakeholders, but the immense negative response damaged the reputation of palm oil in Spain. The negative coverage of palm oil resulted in speeding up the initiative of the Foundation of the Spanish Foundation on Sustainable Palm Oil Comparison frequency  by  country

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Twitter and  news  mentions  – highest  activity


EPOA tried to reach out to the Brot fuer Alle/ Fastenopfer campaign against palm oil in Switzerland via TFT but did not succeed. They are now contacting retailers in Switzerland to reduce palm oil in their products and EPOA will follow up directly with a close contact at Fastenopfer. The Greenpeace campaign in Austria highlighted on safety issues of palm oil. It was followed up via FONAP, but did not receive a lot of attention in the (social-) media.

EU / Policy – ENVI Commission • In April, the European Parliament adopted the report on ‘Palm oil and deforestation of rainforests’. EPOA wrote a reflection which is published on the EPOA website, and reached out to ESPOAG and Malaysian and Indonesian key stakeholders to discuss the situation and align the way forward. • In September, The European Commission (EC) has responded to the report in acconstructive and balanced manner, addressing the environmental and social challenges of deforestation and forest degradation as an important matter for the EU, and stating that the EC wants to build on existing efforts of producing countries and industry initiatives.

In 2018 we aim to increase outreach, and emphasize cooperation and alignment between Europe and palm oil producing countries The EU debate on palm oil and bio fuels EPOA focuses on palm oil and food and therefore the topic is out of scope, but the two debates – food and bio fuels – do interact and feed each other and we would inform you briefly below on the developments

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in 2017: • In October 2017 the European Parliament Environment Committee voted to phase-out the use of palm oil in bio fuels. The report diverges sharply from the latest draft proposal from the EU Council, which safeguards the role of bio fuels in the renewable energy framework. • In November EU Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) voted to endorse the earlier proposal by the ENVI Committee to exclude Palm Oil bio fuels from the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Note: In January 2018 the European Parliament plenary voted on the post-2020 EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). It provided an important step for the ITRE Rapporteur to negotiate with the Commission and Council in the upcoming trialogue negotiations.

update of EFSA’s Scientific Committee, EFSA released its revised opinion on 3-MCPD esters, reassessing the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for 3-MCPD and 3-MCPD esters from 0,8 mcg per kg body weight (bw) per day to 2.0 mcg per kg bw per day. The EFSA considers consumption levels of 3-MCPD in food as safe for most consumers because the TDI of 2 mcg per kg bw per day is not exceeded in the adult population. In the younger age groups, it was observed that the TDI was slightly exceeded in the high consumers and in particular in scenarios for infants receiving infant formula only. This EFSA report will now be submitted to the European Commission (EC) and the EU Member States. In the coming months, the EC and the EU Member States will discuss whether legal maximum limits are needed to further reduce 3-MCPD esters. (more information can be found here).

3MCPDE/GE (FEDIOL in the lead) • EPOA and FEDIOL keep close contact on the topic with FEDIOL directly informing EPOA contacts on important developments and EPOA informing FEDIOL on questions and related issues in the countries. • Glycidyl Esters (GE):– voluntary 1 PPM limit by 1 Sept 2017 was agreed by FEDIOL members. • European Commission published Regulation (EU) 2018/290 of 26 February, amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 concerning maximum levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) in food. The Regulation will enter into force on 19 March 2018.

In 2018 we aim to continue monitor coverage of contaminants in palm oil and help national initiatives interpret the outcome of the latest EFSA report on 3-MCPDE.

Note on developments regarding 3MCPDE: In January 2018, after consultation and following an

Amsterdam Declaration to promote the use of 100% sustainable palm oil by 2020 • In June, the newly established Spanish foundation for sustainable palm oil (‘Fundación Española del Aceite de Palma Sostenible’) committed to the 100% objective for Sustainable Palm Oil in Europe by 2020. • That same month, the Italian Government (Italian environment minister Gian Luca Galletti) was the 7th government to sign the Amsterdam Declaration to support. • The UK roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, organised through EFECA, is an industry alliance


that aims to promote the uptake of sustainable palm oil in the UK. Their annual report showed that uptake of CSPO was at a high rate of 78%. The roundtable is in existence since 2012 and signed the European ‘Commitment to Support’ in September 2017. Through its renewed commitment, the Round Table aims to close the 22% gap, improve monitoring and reporting, and engage sectors that require additional support and technical assistance (more information can be found here).

In November, a monitoring report by the European Sustainable Palm Oil (ESPO) project in cooperation with the national initiatives showed that there is a large volume of sustainable palm oil entering the European market. In 2016, of the palm oil imported for food into European refineries, 69% was certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). Approximately 60% of the palm oil used for food in Europe was estimated to be CSPO.

In 2018 we recommend to continue the strategy, focus on aligned monitoring and reporting of uptake of SPO and strengthen the cooperation with the ADG, ESPO and the producing countries as well as help facilitate the Swedish, Spanish and Belgium government to sign the Amsterdam Declaration.

EPOA Working Groups: main activities and results 1. In 2017, the EPOA Sustainability working group started working more closely with ESPO and the MVO working group on Sustainable Development. It also engaged actively with other important stakeholders, such as the sustainable palm oil certifications schemes RSPO, MSPO, ISPO and ISCC, representatives of the Amsterdam Declaration Group and international and local NGO’s. With support of the EPOA communication-working group, in 2017 the Sustainability working group delivered: • A new factsheet providing data on the relation between palm oil, deforestation and forest fires and explaining the role sustainable palm oil can play in preventing tropical deforestation and forest fires. • A leaflet titled ‘Say YES to Sustainable Palm Oil’ • Together with the National initiatives, MVO/ ESPO (IDH) delivered a monitoring report ‘Making Sustainable Palm Oil the norm in Europe’ about the uptake of sustainable palm oil in Europe, which was presented at EPOC in Brussels. The monitoring report shows a growing volume of sustainable palm oil entering the European market. Around 69% of the palm oil imported for food into European refineries was certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in 2016, and approximately 60% of the palm oil used for food in Europe was estimated to be CSPO in 2016. You will find the report here. • The working group helped address a number of EU and local (Netherlands/DASPO) media issues related to sustainability of palm oil, among others, the anti-palm oil campaign

by ‘Greenpeace’ in Austria, the anti-palm oil campaign in Switzerland, the anti-palm oil campaign by ‘MileuDefensie’ in the Netherlands).

We recommend to continue to strengthen the outreach and communication activities, organise or facilitate field visits in palm oil producing countries, reinforce the alignment and info sharing with other local initiatives, define the contribution of palm oil to achieving the SDG’s, help facilitate the cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute, RSPO and ZOOs, as well as closely monitor the uptake of sustainable palm oil in Europe in 2018. 2. The Working group Retailer Engagement was established to emphasize the importance of reaching out to retailers to create a more inclusive industry climate for the uptake of sustainable palm oil. The main activities were: • In 2017 EPOA joined the RSPO market TaskForce to help set up a Polish initiative on Sustainable Palm oil, together with international retailers and manufacturers (TESCO, BASF, Kosmetyczni, Croda, ADM) and WWF. To make best use of the fact that Poland will be hosting 2018 climate summit in Warsaw, a preparatory event aiming to invite retailers, NGO,s governments and other stakeholders is being planned for March 2018. Members of EPOA have recently been invited to join and help identify important stakeholders and help organise the event. • At the Industry Meeting on palm oil in Brussels in 2017, Sophie Hieke from EUFIC presented a study sponsored by EPOA. The research aimed to investigate consumer attitude towards free from claims in 4 European countries (France,


Poland, Uk and Sweden). It concluded that ‘Free-from’ labelled products across all countries are generally perceived as healthier compared to products without such a label. Across all four labels, consumers in France and Poland would feel more ‘surprised’, ‘deceived’, ‘disappointed’ and ‘ripped off’ than consumers in either the UK or Sweden if the products with a free from claim proved not to be healthier. (The results of the study have recently been published in a scientific journal). Together with Cecile Schneider from Conservation International, EPOA visited two Norwegian Retailers as well as the almost complete delegation of the ministry of Environment at the Norwegian Government.

Visits accompanied by third parties supporting our strategy and messages proved very positive and we recommend continuing this approach through the secretariat in 2018 as well as supporting the Polish Task Force and its retail members in setting up an initiative on sustainable palm oil in Poland. In view of the changed scope and in order to simplify EPOA programme management, we will transfer the remaining projects in the retailer engagement working group to the secretariat. 3. The Nutrition & Health Working Group focused on executing agreed plans and KPI’s, outreach activities and ad hoc support: • A SAP meeting was held at EuroFedLipid in Stockholm in which Prof Legrand (non-SAP). At this meeting a new way of working was agreed and contracts with the SAP members were renewed.

A scientific review by SAP member Prof Banni on Palmitic Acid, its Physiological Role, Metabolism and Nutritional Implications was published in Frontiers in Physiology. In the review, the authors highlighted the crucial role of palmitic acid in human health. Despite often being negatively depicted as ‘unhealthy’ and misunderstood for palm oil, the authors reported how important the physiological role of palmitic acid was for human evolution. In response to the petition to ban palm oil from infant formula in Spain related to an article by Pascual (IRB Barcelona), a Q&A was developed to address and counter the conclusions in the petition on a scientific base. The Q&As were aligned with the Spanish Foundation and distributed with infant formula companies under attack (e.g. Hero, Nestle, Natra). EPOA sponsored and attended European Dietician conference EFAD in Rotterdam (EFAD). results? Presentations for external use were developed in the nutrition working group (About palm oil in food, nutritional benefits of palm oil, trans fat reduction and replacement in Europe, click here to see the presentations.

In 2018 we will roll out internal workshops and E-learning on palm oil and nutrition, measure palm oil consumption in several countries in Europe, reinforce the alignment and info sharing with other local initiatives and organise pan European expert meetings on palm oil and nutrition.

4. The Functionality working group predominantly worked on short and snappy explanatory movies. • Together with the communication working group, storylines and storyboards for three explanimations (animated videos) on 1. palm oil production 2. refining and 3. fractionation, were developed and can be found here.

To simplify EPOA programme management, we will transfer the remaining projects in the functionality working group to the nutrition and sustainability working group.

5. The Communications working group focused on agreed plans & KPI’s, communication outreach activities and ad hoc support. Together with the different working groups new materials were prepared: • Reach of communication material of EPOA through different channels is summarised below: TweetRetweets/ New Twitter views Likes/Clicks followers

155,030 YouTube



Views 12,109












• •

• Videos/materials from the different national initiatives have been made available in the multilingual documentation centre. • An EPOA newsletter was shared in April, July and December and can be found at the EPOA website. Three new explanimations were made about ‘What happens in the mill’, ‘In the refinery’ and ‘In fractionation’ (click here). Standard presentations that can be used externally on various topics were finalised (about EPOA, About palm oil in food, nutritional benefits of palm oil, trans fat reduction and replacement in Europe (click here). LinkedIn was introduced as a new channel to enhance exposure and distribution of EPOA communication material and events (click here). A format e-learning module was developed – (training module + pilot will be executed in 2018). To increase effectiveness, clear guidelines were summarised in a communication plan template that has been applied to all new material and events in 2017.

In order for EPOA to become more effective the communication-working group will seek new ways to share and amplify the EPOA messages




Telling the Palm Oil Story



Forest can be defined by a tree height >5m and a canopy cover >10% (FAO). Forest can be further categorised according to their richness in biodiversity or carbon such as High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS).



5% due to palm oil

Tropical forest cover

0 1990






Deforestation in top 20 most forested tropical countries Top 20 most forested tropical countries Indonesia Malaysia


11% of recorded fires in Indonesia in 2016 were on oil palm concessions

Forest fires have been occurring over the past twenty years during dry seasons on peatlands and forest areas. They can be exceptionally severe and were aggravated by an intense El Nino climate event. Fires which are started to clear land, for logging or planting crops or other human activities can get out of control and destroy vast areas. Fires on peat are very difficult to extinguish and can smoulder for days or weeks until heavy rains put them to an end.



Total 150 Mha tropical forest loss


Between 1990 and 2015, 150 Mha of tropical forest has been lost of which an estimated 5% is directly due to oil palm expansion. Not all oil palm expansion has directly caused deforestation as oil palm is also grown on former plantations or degraded land.


Data used are retrieved from FAO, Global Forest Watch and Oil World sources





• support smallholders to better manage and replant their plantations preventing the use of fires • invest in fire prevention programs • engage governments, farmers and plantations to combine their efforts in a landscape approach



Boycotting palm oil is not the solution, sustainable palm oil is!


For more information contact or








11% 68%


Buying more sustainable palm oil contributes to better managed plantations, protection of HCV and HCS forest and a reduced risk for forest fires. Additionally, it is important to:

15% Pulpwood plantations Oil Palm Concessions Logging Concessions Outside Concessions



Tropical deforestation

(x 1,000 hectares)

Deforestation is the conversion of forests into another land use or its permanent reduction of the tree canopy cover.

© EPOA Rights reserved - 2017

Tropical deforestation is slowing down


Support sustainable palm oil and buy products that use sustainable palm oil. Support local initiatives to protect and restore valueable landscapes together with palm oil suppliers.





For more information about EPOA and the activities in your country, please check:


About EPOA



About Palm Oil



Nutritional facts about Palm oil



Developments and interventions of National Initiatives to rebalance the debate on palm oil in food EPOA is a growing Alliance, organised on a yearly membership and agreement base, which requires long-term thinking and short-term implementation. The number of countries and topics have increased from ~1 country, ~1 topic in 2013, to more than 11 countries and over 6 topics in 2017, while maintaining membership contribution and secretariat support. Cooperation with ESPO/IDH provided additional funding and government support, specifically to the countries aimed at increasing the uptake of CSPO, but the EPOA match funcing available for countries has to be divided over more countries.

A sound buffer, extended membership base early & long term commitments should enable to further build and support the program where needed, specifically in the countries where most issues arise.

France Founded in 2013, the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil unites companies and sector federations from the French palm oil supply chain. The members of the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil were committed to using 100% CSPO in their products by the end of 2015. In addition, the members have agreed to source 100% traceable and zero deforestation palm oil based on higher criteria. In 2017, the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil has definitively positioned itself as a key player on sustainable palm oil in Europe: 1. French delegation to Malaysia and Indonesia In March 2017, the French President, François Hollande, visited Malaysia and Indonesia in order to sign cooperation agreements between France and those countries, including agreements on palm oil. The French Alliance was part of the presidential delegation.


countries involved

topics handled

budget to support


Leading role GNFT Following the French presidential election in May 2017, Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, launched on July 6 the Climate Plan with the ambition to stop the importation into France of products contributing to deforestation. The National Group on Tropical Forests (GNFT), under the aegis of 4 Ministries (Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Overseas) has the mission to define a national strategy aiming at stopping the import of imported forest or agricultural products contributing to deforestation by March 2018 (axis 15 of the Climate Plan). The French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil has been entrusted by the GNFT to oversee the “Economic Activities” Working Group in order to define this national strategy in conjunction with the public authorities. 2. Participation EC The French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil took part in a major public consultation on possible EU interventions to fight against deforestation organized by the European Commission in June 2017. The EU Commission also brought together a panel of experts, including the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil, in October 2017, to work on a benchmark of various certification systems and existing initiatives in the palm oil sector. The report should be available in 2018. 3. Participation RSPO P&C The French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil is also part of the Principles and Criteria (P&C) Review Task Force of the RSPO. Among the French Alliance requirements: taking into account HCS methodology,

protecting all peatlands, banning paraquat, strengthening guarantees respecting the rights of workers in plantations and a better protection of animal species. Italy 1. Amsterdam Declaration signed The Italian environment minister Gian Luca Galletti signed the Amsterdam Declaration on Tuesday 6 June. In support of companies using sustainable palm oil, Galletti publicly stated: “With this sign we want to enhance a real commitment to the environment that cannot end up in the cauldron of generalizations, which damage the image of companies and alter the competition. Big national companies have been working responsibly for a long time, obtaining also authoritative certifications for their palm oil supply chain to take place in a sustainable way”. 2. COOP The Italian self-regulatory body for advertising (Istituto Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (Regulatory Advertising Review Board) has invited COOP to stop invoking the precautionary principle and food safety in TV, Radio and Internet campaigns. At the end of the IAP investigation, Coop agreed to no longer use these statements in the disputed terms. The questioned campaign is no longer on-air or on-line. Several letters have been sent to other players to encourage them to stop using the no palm oil claim in labelling and advertising. 3. CODACONS Supported by the Union’s campaign against negative claims, one of the most aggressive Italian Consumer Association CODACONS has written to several producers to question the use of “palm oil

free” claim on their products because they consider it misleading for consumers. CODACONS is urging companies to refrain from using the claim unless they’re are able to prove that the product has a lower saturated fat content as compared to similar product containing palm oil and announced that they are considering to file a complaint to competent Authorities. This is a very positive result. The Union is now engaging with other consumer’s organizations in order to raise awareness and encourage them to take a similar stand. 4. PUBLIC PROCUREMENTS The Union reported to the Italian AntiTrust Authority (AGCM) and ANAC, the National Anti-corruption Authority about the discrimination of palm oil in public procurements. The AGCM has formally taken into consideration the complaint by the Italian Union against an Italian school institute that introduced a ban of palm oil products in the public tender for the supply of food vending machines. Arguments on adverse effects on competition and consumer’s perception were discussed at a hearing at AGCM (Agrifood section). The Consumer Section of the AGCM had previously confirmed the rightfulness of the Italian Union 2016 advertising campaign and may confirm that the claim “without palm oil” as possibly misleading. 5. Marche Regional Law discriminating palm oil Marche Region that has recently adopted by law a recommendation to avoid the use of products with palm oil in Universities’ canteens. The Union is addressing this issue at the region both at a legal and arbitration level. We are now engaging at the Regional level to ask for an amendment of the regional law. The case is used to raise awareness


at national and regional level in the other 21 Italian Regions, discussing market distortion and economic injury caused to excluded companies by such initiatives. A Parliamentary question with written answer to the Minister of Health has recently been tabled at the Chamber of Deputy. 6. PALM OIL FREE Claims The Union has written to several companies explaining that “palm oil free” claims may not be legal under certain circumstances referring to the official statement by the Ministry of Economic Development. The competent body for the enforcement of the Italian Consumer Code, confirms the following interpretation of the Union: The claim “ palm oil free” is permissible only under certain conditions, even when it is to be considered a mere “factual statement”. In fact, as the Ministry points out, consumers preference for sustainable or “healthier” products is influenced by media and advertising campaigns. Therefore, the claimant using alternative fats has the burden of proving that he is marketing a “better” product in terms of nutrition/health/ sustainability, in line with consumer expectations and in accordance with the Italian Consumers’ Code. The evaluations are to be made on a case by case basis and the Authorities are called upon to check. The position from the Ministry of Development supports the rebalancing of the palm oil debate inside the business community and will also be supportive in ongoing legal procedures. The Union has published this position and the relevant documents on its website. As a result, “Palm Oil Free” advertisings on TV/media decreased consistently (-80%) and as from May 2017 Companies are starting to refrain using the PO free claim on packaging or are phasing out (i.e. Amadori and Galbusera). This may break the chain of

negative media attention in the palm oil debate. Belgium Throughout the year 2017 the topic of palm oil has increasingly received attention in Belgium. Overall, the main topics were: sustainability, health, corporate messages, biofuels, and general “no palm” claims. These topics were treated similarly in both language zones except for November. In Flanders the Greenpeace report (addressing possible safety concerns of palm oil) was picked up extensively. Whilst the Walloon region has seen a marked increase as well that month, no particular cause could be identified. 1. Video messages In this increasingly challenging media environment, the specific consumer-oriented action of BASP, the launch of the video messages was a successful test in dealing with social media. Distributed and promoted over Facebook and YouTube, over 80’000 unique Facebook profiles were reached and the YouTube video was watched on 57’000 devices. On both media, 1 in three viewers watched the video until the end. 2. CSPO uptake On statistics, the Belgian Alliance has seen a positive evolution both in quantity and quality of the CSPO uptake. The progress report which was first intended as a one pager has therefore been upgraded to an extensive report, that was later adapted to improve comprehension. 3. New organisation During the summer of 2017, the previous Secretary-General of the BASP moved to another position. This created an opportunity to rethink the

setup of the organization. BASP was taken out of FEVIA which previously hosted the Secretariat. The changes in administration allowed BASP to improve its fiscal position. 4. Engagement NGO’s and alignment with ESPOAG The second semester was further marked by two things. First, as NGOs indicated that they insist on strong legislation ending embedded deforestation, and to allow as much as possible for an overlap between ESPOAG and BASP, a strategic exercise was undertaken. The BASP EXCO confirmed that the ESPOAG position would be endorsed by BASP. Second, during when evaluating the feasibility of the two external activities planned, the stakeholder event and the sponsoring of UPDLF, some challenges became apparent. Both WWF, which would partner in a workshop on public procurement, and UPDLF, have seen internal changes. WWF asked to postpone the event, and UPDLF failed to respond to messages. In the light of the above the ExCo has decided to postpone both activities. 5. Joint event Instead of the stakeholder Event, BASP has organized an event together with Malaysian, and funded by Malaysia: the Malaysia Palm Oil Industry Forum (MPOIF). After the budgetary evaluation last year and with many recurring tasks, it was decided to internalize some of the tasks. This would imply that a (part time) assistant would be employed to support the secretariat on communication, administration and events. Members will also be surveyed to better understand their positions. Priorities and strategy for 2018 will be in line with the priorities the members


indicate in the survey. Spain 2017 has been the year of creation of the Spanish Foundation on Sustainable Palm Oil. This means that we started from zero and the basic structure and activities should be established. In 2017, the main efforts have been focused on: 1. Launch of the Foundation Establishing the vision, mission and values of the Foundation. 2. Narrative Establishing the basic narrative in terms of sustainability in the three pillars: environmental, social and economic. 3. Visibility Creation of a website as the basic communication tool, as well as materials. 4. Mapping of the stakeholders In the different areas: media (administrations/political groups/science/consumers/ economic organizations/ ngo´s / other institutions. 5. Outreach and engagement Introduction of the Foundation to different stakeholders. 6. Monitoring media issues Related to palm in food in Spain and react accordingly. 7. CSPO Promotion of the use of sustainable palm oil in Spain.

8. Attract new members The founding members are committed to the initiative, although administrative procedures in order to get formal approval of the Foundation was taking more time than expected and financing of the activities has been complex. The Spanish Initiative on Sustainable Palm Oil is really satisfied with the fact that new members have joint the foundation, and the initial noise around palm oil has decreased by the end of the year due to our activities. Norway The Norwegian initiative for sustainable palm oil (NISPO) was established in 2014 to contribute to the sustainable production of palm oil in the world. 1. Extend commitment The companies committed to the following: “I, the undersigned, want to prevent palm oil production from contributing to the destruction of rainforest. The companies will do this by reducing palm oil demand and / or ensuring that all palm oil used is sustainable, with respect for humans, animals and the environment. The initiative members will work for continuous improvement of RSPO standards. The companies will gradually and by the end of 2018 phase out the use of palm oil or switch to segregated or traceable and sustainably produced palm oil and be able to document progress annually.“ In addition to the FMCG companies, a combined Norwegian feed industry (manufactured feed) operates in parallel with ensuring that palm oil used in power feed is based on sustainable production. All companies in the initiative have clear strategies for at least achieving the goals set and many of the companies have set stricter goals for themselves. In the pursuit of sustainability, some of the companies have goals

and measures for sustainability and traceability that go beyond standard certification. For 2017 the target was to increase the proportion of palm oil that is certified segregated or certified “Identity Preserved” (IP). The companies have also worked on getting similar solutions for so-called “non-food”. 2. CSPO In 2016, the majority of companies reached the goal that all palm oil used should be certified according to the RSPO criteria. Several of the companies have already reached the target set for 2018: that all palm oil must be certified, segregated palm oil, i.e. palm oil can be traced back to turbines that only accept palm oil from certified farms. Some of the companies have had the opportunity to set and implement stricter requirements and traceability back to the individual mill. For palm-based, further processed raw materials, which are used in non-food products, access to RSPO certified raw materials has until recently been very limited. As the requirement for certification has increased, the situation has improved. 3. Engagement and outreach In 2016, NISPO joined industry initiative that works in parallel with the Amsterdam Declaration. In 2017 the Norwegian government has been leading of the Amsterdam Declaration work and the group has prioritized collaboration with and support of the authorities. In addition to the drive to achieve the goals NISPO has served as a hub for insights and information on sustainable palm oil – both internally and externally – engaging a wide group of stakeholders.


Learnings and general recommendations EPOA is a growing alliance involving an increasing number of issues and countries.

well as ongoing taxation and trade issues at member state level, through third parties. Besides the issues EPOA manages relationships and funding to multiple national alliances and organisations across Europe.

Evolution of EPOA scope Below, the evolution of EPOA SCOPE from 2013 to 2017.

New in 2016 Commission process 3MCPDE + GE

Managing national alliances network

Original focus FiC Labelling

Parliament WG on deforestation


MCPDE Germany

Sustainability & deforestation

Expanded focus

No Palm Oil Labelling


Trade, taxation, import levies (France and others)

In addition to the original two focus areas, EPOA looks at 6 active issues to manage, only three with a formal mandate trough working groups of the PT. The no palm oil labelling and the addition of sustainability to the agenda represented the first large increase in scope. EPOA deals with regulatory threats at EU level (Parliament and Commission) as

With a yearly activity program and financial commitment based on match funding, early and long term membership commitment as well as a sound financial buffer is crucial to avoid delays in activation In addition tothe theworking originalgroup two level focusasareas, of the program at well as EPOA looksinitiatives. at 6 active issues to manage, at the country

only three with a formal mandate through working groups of the A larger buffer and long termPT. commitments are

foreseen in 2018 and should guarantee continued The always-on threat support at the country levelof as no wellpalm as at oil the EPOA labelling and the addition of sustainability secretariat.

to its agenda represented the first large increase in scope.

A simplified EPOA structure with a clear scope and less working groups, more focus on the country Because of the lack of lobbying expertise initiatives, and enhanced support, EPOA deals with theadministrative two regulatory threats should provide more clarity of purpose and room for at EU level (parliament and Commission) theas secretariat to: well as ongoing taxation and trade

issues at member state level, through third • parties. Inform and align the countries to handle current

• • • •

and upcoming issues. Reach andthe engage with relevant stakeholders On topout of all issues – EPOA manages relationships and funding to multiple (retail, government and NGO’s) and possible new national alliances across Europe EPOA members. Focus on new positive communication projects in cooperation with NGOs. Cover the latest insights on nutrition of palm oil in food. Cover the latest policy developments on sustainability and support the aim to reach 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe in 2020.


Proposed activities in 2018 Based on learnings and in line with the 2018 activity proposal and budget forecast as presented in September 2017, the following main activities are proposed for 2018: 1. Help implement ‘Road to 2020’, a joined project with a.o. WWF, Conservation International, Ferrero, Unilever, ESPO and EPOA telling the factual and positive stories on the move to sustainable palm oil, paving the way for other companies to join. 2. Continue to extend the EPOA membership base and seek additional EPOA members (Refiners and palm oil producing countries) to strengthen EPOA’s position in transforming the European palm oil market towards sustainable palm oil and rebalance the debate on palm oil in food. 3. Strengthen the cooperation between the Amsterdam Declaration Group (ADG,) ESPO and the producing countries as well as help facilitate the Swedish, Spanish and Belgium government to sign the Amsterdam Declaration. 4. Increase alignment and cooperation between the National Initiatives through Linking and Learning sessions and workshops. 5. Enhance outreach activities to retailers accompanied by third parties supporting our strategy and messages. 6. Support the RSPO Polish Task Force and its retail members in setting up a Polish Initiative on sustainable palm oil.


Recommended activities at the EPOA working groups in 2018 The 3 remaining working groups will prioritise the following activites:

In 2018 we will simplify the EPOA structure to create a more agile and lean organisation: Chair alignment, outreach & issue management

Steering Committee Decisions

4/yr & ad hoc

Retailer engagemnt- PL

EPOA 2018

Nutrition • Roll out internal workshops and E-learning on palm oil and nutrition. • Measure palm oil consumption in several countries in Europe. • Organise pan European expert meetings on palm oil and nutrition. • Establish the role of palm oil in feeding the world. Sustainability • Closely monitor and report the uptake of sustainable palm oil in Europe in 2018. • Focus communication and events on smallholders and socio-economic development as well as deforestation and preserving biodiversity. Add upcoming topics related to labour issues and establish the contribution of palm oil production to achieving the SDG’s. • Organise or facilitate field visits in palm oil producing countries. • Help facilitate the cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute and ZOOs / RSPO. • Update sustainability content.

External support if needed

SC members approval

Secretary General

coordination, outreach and issue management

Project Team

Chairs WGs

Ad Hoc Issue Mgmt

External support if needed


Secretary Comm. PT members

External support if needed

Full PT team 6/yr



Secretary Health (incl functionality, PO consumption)

Secretary Sustainability (incl SDGs, Road to 2020) PT members

SAP PT members


External support if needed

Working groups are formed by a chair from the members and a secretary from MVO and include other c project team members of external support if needed. Together with the Secretary General, the core PT, prepares strategy and ensures delivery.


Communication • Improve distribution and use of EPOA communication material. • Organise EPOC and industry meeting on palm oil. • Update content on website. • Translate material in countries on demand • Help finalise the last educational video on Functionality


• • • •

Help organise Linking and Learning Sessions with national Initiatives Help implement and organise workshops and E-leaning empowering members to tell the palm oil story Organise EPOA stands at major EU events Monitor (social-) media coverage


Impact Report 2017 (EPOA)  
Impact Report 2017 (EPOA)