Delhaize Group updates its palm oil policy


Brussels-based Delhaize Group, parent company of Delhaize America, said it updated its policy on responsible palm oil sourcing and its commitment to source only traceable, no-deforestation palm oil for its private label products. The company put into place new goals to ensure that by 2020, all palm oil sourced for its private label products will be 100 percent (80 percent by 2018) traceable and deforestation-free.

Delhaize Group said it recognizes the impact of deforestation on climate change, habitats and forest communities. Its updated policy includes the commitment to protecting peatlands, high carbon stock (HCS) forests and high conservation value (HCV) areas, including wildlife habitats. The updated policy will also respect the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous and local communities in the development of new plantations.

This updated commitment came after a year and a half of building knowledge of Delhaize Group’s palm oil sourcing, with the help of the global non-profit organization, The Forest Trust (TFT), Delhaize Group said. It aligns with Delhaize’s 2020 Supergood strategy and commitment as a board member of the Consumer Goods Forum to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. And Delhaize Group said it will be working to achieve its aims in an open and transparent manner, producing annual reports on its progress.

“We are pleased with our progress to date in increasing the visibility and transparency of palm oil in our private brand products and are happy that, with added knowledge about our supply chain, we can accelerate our commitment to responsibly sourcing 80 percent of our palm oil by 2018,” said Megan Hellstedt, vice president of sustainability, Delhaize Group. “Reaching this commitment, however, will take collaborative effort across the palm oil supply chain. We look forward to continued engagement with our suppliers, other retailers, NGOs and palm oil producers in the transformation to responsibly-sourced palm oil.”

As a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Delhaize Group said it will maintain its current commitment to have 100 percent of the palm oil used in its private brand products adhere to the RSPO guidelines by the end of 2015. The company said it is on track to meet this commitment through a mix of GreenPalm certificates, Mass Balance and Segregated certified palm oil. After 2015, it will move to mass balance and segregated certified palm oil for its key product categories.