We use palm oil in a few of our products because we need a saturated non-animal based fat in order to make our ice cream and fraiches. Palm oil has the advantage that it posses a fat composition that proves excellent in diverse applications. Today we are using palm oil in our vanilla sauce, ice cream and fraiche only.
An important crop
We are very much aware of the problems involved in the production of palm oil. At the same time palm oil is an extremely high yielding oil, which qualifies it as an vital crop for the planet looking forward. In order to feed a growing global population in the future, we will have to utilize high yielding crops. However, the production of such crops needs to be sustainable and today, palm oil has a long way to go in this area. About 4.5 million people in Southeast Asia are currently making a living by growing oil palms, which are well suited to small scale farming. In addition to being an ingredient in foods, palm oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, detergents, candles and other products.
A boycott is not the solution
The countries that consume the largest amount of palm oil are Indonesia, India and China. The EU follows in fourth place. There is good reason that awareness regarding the production of palm oil is greatest in wealthier countries. This awareness demands that we collectively take responsibility for bringing about substantial change. We don’t believe that the solution to these issues is a total boycott of palm oil though. If all the food producers around the world who are aware of palm oil issues were to stop using palm oil, all the efforts to build a sustainable production would also end. What wouldn’t end is the irresponsible production of palm oil. If all the food producers were to swap palm oil for another vegetable based oil, it is not inconceivable that a new problem would arise somewhere else. Organizations such as WWF and Greenpeace do not believe that a boycott of palm oil is the solution.
What we can do
We believe that we can do the most good by focusing our efforts on pushing for a sustainable production of palm oil. This means working actively and constantly with our suppliers, utilizing our membership in the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) to voice our opinions, and by buying Green Palm certificate for the small amount of palm oil we use. We do not believe that membership in RSPO and Green Palm certificate is the solution to the problem, but we are convinced that it is an important component in our wide ranging efforts to secure a future where sustainable palm oil production becomes the standard.
We are committed to buy only 100% certified, 100% traceable palm oil. Our suppliers have promised they can ensure this by 2015 at the latest. But our work doesn’t and won’t stop there. We will need to work for an improved certification process and keep pushing the importance of these issues with our suppliers. We are a very very small buyer of palm oil, but we have a very very large commitment to these issues and are confident that this commitment can have a positive impact moving forward.
Everything we make, we make on Swedish oats. If you are wondering what makes Swedish oats so special, the answer is very simple. They grow strong and tall in the Nordic climate, which is a crazy mix of long sunny days (and nights in the summer) mixed with short periods of intense rain. Moreover, many of the nasty pesticides that are used on oats in the rest of Europe are totally forbidden in Sweden. And the minimal traces of heavy metals that you find in regular Swedish oats are not significantly greater than those found in organic Swedish oats and fall well below what is considered to be safe for consumption. And this makes Swedish oats rather unique.
Now some of you might have noticed that it says It’s Swedish! on the front of our packages and then you turn them around and it says they are produced in Germany. That’s weird, isn’t it? The truth is that 2 of our products are actually packaged (not produced) in northern Germany because the packaging facilities there are among the safest in the world. Our fraiche is packaged in Finland for exactly the same reason. All of this is pretty logical if you think about it, after all we are a small Swedish company with a large international fan base.