Palm oil and Orang-utans

November 2010, Warren Matthews

Summary

One of our customers raised the issue about our Tocotrienols that are sourced from Palm Oil. Given the trend to sustainability and protecting endangered species she made the following comment/question (Her email is below). 

I put the question to the GM of our supplier of this ingredient and have copied his response below...

One of our customers raised the issue about our Tocotrienols that are sourced from Palm Oil. Given the trend to sustainability and protecting endangered species she made the following comment/question (Her email is below). 

I put the question to the GM of our supplier of this ingredient and have copied his response below... which is positive.  Also you can link to the attachments.

Question from Juliette,

"Hi Warren, Both my husband and I have been using Xtend-Life Total Balance Premium, Women's Total Balance and Fish Oil and now QH Ultra for over 3 years and I sing it's praises to anyone who will listen and give the web address to anyone who will take it! However one ingredient has troubled me and that is Tocomin which is from palm fruit. Is this sourced from an area involved in the destruction of Orang-utan habitat?
Thanks. "
Juliette from Australia

Email from the manufacturers of Tocomin:

"Hi Warren,

Good morning. Thank you for the email reply. I appreciate it

Re : Sustainability

I agree that in term of sustainability - this has become an issue of late, taken up by those green organizations such as Friend of Earth, etc, either for the right or wrong reasons. There is always two sides to a story and it is just unfortunate that they pick on palm oil which has been proven to be the most productive oil crops. 

As for Carotech, we purchase all our feedstock - virgin crude palm oil from RSPO members. Carotech is committed to the practices and criteria of sustainable plantation. We do not purchase palm oil from newly cleared forest land. 

Another important factor to consider is the source of the crude palm oil. Carotech is located in Peninsular Malaysia and hence sources all its crude palm oil from plantations in Peninsular Malaysia which are existing cropland (more than 20 years old). 

There is no issue with palm oil from Peninsular Malaysia. All the plantations in Peninsular M'sia are existing cropland with over 20 years old. And all of them do observe sustainable plantation practices. Carotech is able to give you a guarantee that we only source virgin crude palm oil from plantations in Peninsular Malaysia. We do not source from Indonesia or from Borneo (Sabah or Sarawak). 

Hence, all our customers can be assured that our products do not come from palm trees grown on new plantations or plantations from cleared rain forest, which is more prevalent in Indonesia and Borneo. 

As indicated, Carotech is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable of Palm Oil Organization (RSPO) since 2007. Please refer to the attached membership letter for Carotech. You can visit their website: www.rspo.org 

Carotech is committed to the practices and criteria of sustainable plantation. We do not purchase palm oil from newly cleared forest land. Rest assured that Carotech sources all its crude palm oil from plantations in Peninsular Malaysia which are existing cropland (more than 20 years old). We do not buy palm oil from Indonesia or Borneo.

The RSPO was formally established under Article 60 of the Swiss Civil Code on 8 April 2004 in Zurich, Switzerland. It is an association created by companies carrying out activities in and around the entire supply chain for palm oil to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through cooperation within the supply chain and open dialogue with its stakeholders. Its aim is to bring together members of the community working on palm oil to discuss and to cooperate towards this common goal. They also collaborate with WWF on ensuring the protection of forest, etc. The official seat of the RSPO is in Zurich, Switzerland. The RSPO Secretariat and the Secretary-General are currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

RSPO is composed of Ordinary Members in 7 different categories (i.e. oil palm growers, palm oil processors and/or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks / investors, environmental / nature conservation NGOs and social / developmental NGOs) and Affiliate Members. Members of the RSPO are expected to implement plans of actions to promote sustainable palm oil production. This means that palm oil growers joining the Roundtable should apply better management practices, including identifying forest areas of high conservation value (i.e. HCVFs) before establishing new plantations or expanding existing ones. High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) must not be converted, and their values must be either preserved or enhanced.

I have also attached some other important points / literature on the sustainability of Malaysian Palm Oil - for your review and file. 

Hope that the above is of help. "

WH Leong
Carotech Inc

 

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