Palm oil is a high quality vegetable oil from the fruit or kernel of the oil palm tree. These tropical palms can grow 20 metres tall. Their characteristic green fronds can stretch up to 5 metres long, and they bear heavy clusters of ruby red fruit all year long. A very productive crop, each of these clusters can produce as much as 50 kg of fruit. Palm oil offers a greater yield than other vegetable oils, and when it is grown and harvested in a responsible and sustainable way (for us, there is no other way), it can enrich the biodiversity of tropical forests while improving the lives of oil palm tree growers.
Because we’re committed to sustainability, we have high standards for palm oil. Three major factors ultimately help us choose a source:
- The palm oil must be certified sustainable, meaning it contributes to healthy ecosystems;
- It must be organic;
- It must not be sourced from Indonesia or the Philippines.
We only use palm oil that is segregated, identity preserved, and 100% Certified Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). To ensure our suppliers put their commitments to sustainability into action, we distinguish between participants in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and suppliers who carry palm that has achieved the Certified RSPO seal.
The Roundtable developed a certification process with input from regulators, suppliers, growers, and concerned parties to ensure palm oil plantations are sustainable. Notably, the certification process prevents deforestation, which happens when natural forests are removed and palm trees planted instead. We are committed to only sourcing from palm oil suppliers who follow strict certification guidelines to ensure that no deforestation occurs, that ecosystems remain intact and healthy, and that animals keep their natural habitats.
Good for People
We seek out suppliers who want to leave the earth – and the people in it – better than they found it. The dedicated farmers who grow quality organic foods are as important to us as our own employees. Our palm oil suppliers benefit not just growers but whole communities by sourcing from EcoSocial projects, which help guarantee that our products are high quality and ethically sourced. EcoSocial is a certification process launched by IBD, Brazil’s internationally recognized organic certifier.
The EcoSocial seal brings organic and fair trade together under one umbrella with a shared goal: quality, both for people and products. Only organic products that meet the IBD’s stringent standards can be certified EcoSocial, which ensures we get the quality, healthy ingredients we need. EcoSocial also addresses our mission to be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. Certified growers must meet social and ecological goals, such as providing health care and education to local communities or preserving resources and acting as stewards of the earth. While all our ingredients must meet USDA Organic requirements, and we applaud our palm oil suppliers for going the extra mile to ensure our source is both organic and ethical.
Good for the Planet
We want our palm oil growers to be as green as their rainforests. We source our palm oil from long established organic palm plantations and small scale farms located in an agricultural area of the Amazon delta in Brazil – growers who would never replace forests with plantations. Our suppliers are invested in their ecosystems to the point that they have re-established forests on deforested land, which has even lead to the rehabilitation of previously endangered species. Importantly, we do and will always source palm oil from suppliers whose activities and production have no negative impacts on orangutans.
Good for You
We choose our ingredients with both you and the environment in mind, which means if it goes into our cereal, it better be good for you! Palm oil – sourced sustainably, of course – is one of the healthiest oils out there. Though it’s partly saturated, it’s totally trans fat free, and a great vegetarian source of healthy fats. It can help boost levels of HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, and is full of antioxidants such as vitamin E, carotenoids, and beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A known for its anti aging properties. Palm oil actually contains 15 times more beta-carotene than carrots!
For more information on palm oil, please visit these resources below, or send us your questions.
Nutritional Information: American Palm Oil Council