UK: Mapping the UK palm oil supply chain


A new report, released by Proforest for Defra in May 2011, shows the scale and complexity of palm oil consumption in the UK.

Palm oil continues to be a major cause of controversy so this lengthy report represents a major leap forward in our knowledge of where and why the UK is consuming this commodity and may help the UK government make informed decisions about the future of palm oil use.

Some of the key findings from the report include (all 2009):

flow diagram of palm oil imports to the UK

Flowchart of imported palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm kernel meal into the UK (2009)

According to the report this is equivalent to approximately 1.2% of global palm oil and kernel oil production and approximately 10% of the global output of kernel meal.

At 68% the food industry uses the bulk of imported palm oil in the UK and the humble biscuit make up the largest share of this, with the report suggesting that over 20% of the total goes into these snacks.

But perhaps most surprisingly are the figures associated with animal feed. With 23% of palm oil and kernel oil, and over 80% of the kernel meal being used for animal feed.

Given the inextricable links between deforestation and palm oil production it is perhaps heartening that the quantities of palm oil imported to the UK have decreased by 40% over the past five years.

Download the full report (pdf)

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