Kruiningen, Holland-headquartered Lamb Weston/Meijer (LW/M) received the 2015 Task Force (TF) Sustainable Palm Oil Award during a special ceremony recently in The Hague. The presentation was made in recognition of the frozen potato products manufacturer’s complete switch to 100% physically segregated sustainable palm oil in accordance with the TF commitment and agreements made by VAVI, the Dutch potato processing industry’s trade association.
LW/M has been pre-frying branded Lamb Weston products in sunflower oil (which contains 75% less saturated fat) since 2012, which is what prompted it to bring forward the transition to total sustainable palm oil for all products with palm oil in the specification. Done initially by means of “Book & Claim”certificates, since 2015 this has been 100% segregated sustainable palm oil originating from physically segregated supply chains.
LW/M is taking an active approach to making its overall value chain more sustainable, from harvest to home. The decision to use sustainable palm oil is in keeping with its comprehensive sustainability program. Sustainable growing, a chain approach and transparency are the basic principles underlying the company’s “Sustainable 6” strategy.
The TF Sustainable Palm Oil Award is presented annually to companies that have made the biggest effort to making the palm oil chain more sustainable as a whole.
The Task Force is a collaborative effort between suppliers and buyers of palm oil in the Netherlands. The aim is to achieve 100% sustainable palm oil in the Dutch market. By the end of 2015, the domestic food processing industry’s usage of palm oil was said to account for 84% of total volume.
“Lamb Weston/Meijer is working towards making the complete food chain more sustainable, and for that purpose has converted all potato products with palm oil in the specification into physically segregated sustainable palm oil, including all private labels produced in Europe,” said Jolanda Soons, the company’s sustainability manager.
In business since 1994, LW/M operates five facilities – three in the Netherlands, and one each in the United Kingdom and Austria – with combined capacity of 650,000 tons per annum. The company, a joint venture business of Omaha Nebraska, USA-headquartered ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston and Kruiningen-based Meijer Frozen Food, employs more than 1,300 people and exports finished products to numerous countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and beyond.