General

Dorset presses forward in ambition to become the world's first sustainable palm oil county 

Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, who has agreed to be the ambassador for Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community (DSPOC).

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: September 8, 2022 | Updated: 9th September 2022

Thirty six businesses and organisations in Dorset have now committed to only using sustainable palm oil.

They include the RNLI College, Bournemouth University, Compass Group, YMCA Bournemouth, The Green House Hotel, and schools and restaurants.

All have pledged to remove conventional palm oil from their supply chains through the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community (DSPOC). 

Dorset is aiming to become the world’s first sustainable palm oil county.

Palm oil is the most efficient vegetable oil in the world and supports the livelihoods of millions.

But it can be linked to serious environmental and social impacts.

Efeca, a specialist on the responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities, says supporting sustainable palm oil is important to ensure such a key commodity is produced and consumed responsibly.  

News of the 36 Dorset businesses and organisations followed the announcement that Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, has agreed to be DSPOC’s Ambassador.

A long-standing resident of Bournemouth,  Dr Goodall is a world-renowned ethologist and conservationist known for her study into the lives of wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, now spanning more than 60 years.

She is the author of 50 books and there are now 25 Jane Goodall Institutes around the world including in the UK, based in Lymington. 

Dr Goodall founded Roots & Shoots, her humanitarian and environmental programme empowering young people of all ages to become involved in hands-on projects of their choosing to benefit the community, animals and the environment.

There are groups in the Bournemouth area.

Lucy Cullinane, Operations Director at Efeca, said: “We’re delighted to be making this announcement.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to get to this stage and having Dr Jane Goodall now onboard is a huge leap forwards for this project.”  

Efeca launched the DSPOC initiative in 2021 within the Chester Zoo Sustainable Palm Oil Communities initiative that was launched in 2017.

DSPOC, funded by Efeca, has now reached 13 towns and seven villages in Dorset within the space of a year, including Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport, Shaftesbury and Gillingham.

Another 15 hospitality businesses are needed to join, as well as five workplaces with more than 20 people, in order to become the world’s first sustainable palm oil county.  

Efeca has been working with businesses over the last year to help them to check their supply chains.

It has also engaged and educated stakeholders on certified sustainable palm oil options as well as the issues associated with palm oil.

Members of the Efeca team.

Lucy said: “Working with an organisation to become a champion is not an especially long process.

“But it does require an input and investment of time from the organisation themselves as they audit their current stock and supplies to see if they contain unsustainable palm oil.”  

Rachel Eyre, pictured left, Sustainable Procurement Manager at Foodbuy UK (part of Compass Group UK&I) , said: “Transforming the palm oil supply chain is not something that can be done by one company alone.

“We have committed to have 100 per cent sustainable palm oil in food products by the end of 2022 and now that we have joined DSPOC, we are encouraging clients in the area to join the pledge alongside us, involving their other food providers too.

“Joining DSPOC for us is the first step in creating a domino effect of commitments to sustainable palm oil, ensuring that collaborative action takes place across the supply chain.” 

Efeca is still on the lookout for more Dorset businesses and organisations to join the Dorset Sustainable Palm Oil Community initiative.

The hope is that eventually it will spread across the whole of the UK, with other sustainable palm oil communities already operating and growing throughout the country.  

  • For more information, please visit Efeca’s website here.

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