Palm oil in the US
At such a low relative level of domestic consumption, palm oil and its impacts has not historically been a high priority for US companies. More recently, however, companies are starting to take action. WWF sees the importance of US corporations coming not from their domestic use of palm oil but from their global role in the food and personal care sectors—both as manufacturers and retailers.
WWF-US has directly engaged major companies that use palm oil in their global supply chains, including General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Mars, Proctor & Gamble and Walmart. Because of this engagement, many of these US food companies and retailers have joined the RSPO and committed to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by 2015. Some of them have achieved this goal through the Book and Claim mechanism.
US companies account for almost 20% of the Book and Claim certificates sold. Achieving 100% certified palm oil by 2015 is feasible for US companies, but there are challenges that need to be overcome. One of the current key challenges has been limited availability of Segregated palm oil imported into the US—hence the reliance on Book and Claim.
There is also a relatively low level of awareness about palm oil among US consumers and a lack of understanding among companies about what needs to be done with regard to sustainable palm oil.
Further collaboration is needed to overcome these and other challenges, and WWF is taking an active role in networking. WWF has hosted a workshop bringing together all relevant players in the supply chain and has actively participated in various workshops hosted by other trade organizations, such as the American Palm Oil Council, along with key food brands.