In what products does Fazer use palm oil?

At Fazer, palm oil is used in the production of laminated coffee breads, biscuits, in some confectionery fillings and margarines.

Why does Fazer use palm oil?

Palm oil has very good technological properties and that’s why it’s quite commonly used in the bakery and food industry. To create the right texture, solid fat is required in Fazer’s products like laminated coffee breads, biscuits and in some confectionery fillings. Palm oil is used in several fat blends as the solid part together with liquid oils. Otherwise fat blends would be too soft or liquid.

Fat blend = A mixture of various fat components (e.g. margarines and filling fats).

Is there a way to replace palm oil? Does Fazer have plans to replace palm oil?

At Fazer we see that the best option at the moment is to support sustainable palm oil production through purchasing the RSPO-certifications.
Palm oil has very good technological properties and the production process of margarines has been modified during the past years in order to avoid trans fats. This shift has led to an increase in use of palm oil as it is a naturally solid fat. As palm oil is the highest-yielding vegetable oil crop, replacing it with other vegetable oil would mean that much more land would be needed for the cultivation. Stopping the palm oil production would also create challenges for the people who work in the palm oil industry, who in many cases rely upon the palm oil cultivation as their source of income.

However, at Fazer the use of different oils and fats is evaluated on a regular basis, taking both nutritional and technological aspects into consideration.

  • The palm oil used for deep-frying donuts was replaced with rapeseed oil in 2012.
  • In several yeast dough palm oil has been replaced with rapeseed oil already years ago.

Why has Fazer decided to make a new commitment?

GreenPalm/ Book and claim system has been an important step towards a sustainable palm oil supply chain. In 2012 and 2013, all Fazer’s palm oil was covered by GreenPalm certificates. However, we acknowledge the need to move forward in order to ensure that our products do not include unacceptable palm oil from unsustainable sources. We also want to go beyond certificates and see what more can we do to reduce the negative impact on the environment in the primary production.

What has Fazer done earlier to ensure sustainable palm oil purchasing?

  • Fazer has been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2004.
  • Fazer supports the production of RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil through the GreenPalm programme. In 2012 and 2013, a full 100 % of Fazer palm oil was covered by GreenPalm certificates.
  • Fazer ranked well among the worldwide scores receiving 11 points out of 12 on the Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard of the WWF in 2013. Fazer's score was the highest of Finnish manufacturers and processors / traders.
  • Fazer submits an annual report to RSPO on progress. You can read more here.

What are the RSPO principles and criteria for sustainable palm oil production?

RSPO Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production are available here.

What new does this commitment bring into Fazer’s palm oil sourcing?

With this commitment Fazer has set new objectives for Fazer’s responsible palm oil sourcing and roadmap to achieve them. With the commitment, Fazer aims to increase the traceability of palm oil supply chain and to go beyond the Book & Claim system.

What do you mean with increased traceability?

Fazer aims for increased traceability by complying with the supply chain option hierarchy that has been set in the commitment:

1. Segregated supply chain system
2. Mass balance supply chain system if segregated palm oil is not available taking availability, quality and market conditions into account.
3. Book & Claim / GreenPalm certificates in the most complex palm oil derivatives that are not available as segregated or mass balance.

This means that Fazer will continue using RSPO-certified palm oil but improve traceability by increasing the purchases of RSPO-certified segregated and mass balance palm oil instead of GreenPalm certificates.

In the commitment it says that Fazer will develop a policy to protect biodiversity, forests and to take into a consideration the greenhouse gas emissions in its palm oil supply chain. What does this mean?

When palm oil is produced irresponsibly, clearing excessive amounts of land for palm oil plantations can lead to loss of rain forests, destroy habitats for endangered species and accelerate climate change. By creating guidelines, Fazer’s aim is to ensure that the palm oil we use does not come from unsustainable sources.

Could Fazer purchase only segregated palm oil?

The challenge is that today not all fat and oil suppliers can provide palm oil as segregated for the needed palm oil fractions in different fat blends. To keep palm oil segregated requires investment in new infrastructure. This becomes even more challenging as the fraction of palm oil in fat blends might vary. Refined palm oil can more easily be found as segregated. As the challenges are related to the whole supply chain, it is extremely important to co-operate and have good dialogue with fat and oil suppliers and other stakeholders.

Although segregated is our primary objective, we believe that by buying mass balance we can encourage our suppliers to increase the share of responsible palm oil they provide. GreenPalm certificates are a good option in the most complex palm oil derivatives that are not available as segregated or mass balance.