Following the Government’s commitment to source 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015; the BHA has produced an overview and practical step by step guide to support hospitality businesses on their journey towards sustainable sourcing.
The UK hospitality industry is among those who often rely heavily on palm oil for ingredients for cooking, and cleaning products. As such, the BHA has been working with Government to ensure practical steps are taken to raise awareness of sustainable palm oil and to encourage businesses that have not already done so to check or to work with their suppliers to put in place measures to ensure that the palm oil they are using is sustainable.
Why should your business source sustainable palm oil?
Changes to the Government Buying Standards (GBS) mean that all food and catering products bought by central government must meet sustainability requirements - including the sourcing of sustainable palm oil and derivatives - by the end of 2015.
For UK businesses, the goal is not mandatory or legislative and does not come with any financial penalties if targets are not met. However, the BHA supports the procurement of sustainable palm oil, not only because the members of the BHA are leaders in responsible business practices, but because it could benefit business financially and reputationally.
Consumers are increasingly interested in issues surrounding palm oil. The Food Information for Consumers Regulation, more commonly identified as the Allergens Regulations, has made food labelling clearer on all food products. This change has made it easier for consumers to identify which products contain palm oil, since the types of vegetable oil used in food products must be stated explicitly on the label. Until now, palm oil has been labelled using the generic term 'vegetable oil’. As such, being able to answer questions on where your palm oil is sourced from, or labelling that your food or product is certified will ensure that your reputation as a responsible business is maintained and that under increased consumer consciousness your business remains competitive.
What should I do?
To access the BHA overview, and to begin or continue along your sustainable palm oil journey, please click here.
You can also sign up to become a BHA palm oil supporter here and we’ll keep you up to date on the latest news and updates on sustainable palm oil.
As always the BHA is here to help and support the 40,000 UK hospitality businesses that make up membership of the BHA. Please contact Lucy Aldrich-Smith at Lucy@bha.org.uk with questions or feedback.