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Palm oil tree

Palm Oil

Our Approach

Palm oil is used as a raw material in many food and non-food products, such as biscuits, detergents, candles and spreads. Palm oil has the highest yield compared to rapeseed, sunflower, or coconut oil, and is the most versatile and efficient oil with regard to consistency and durability. Despite these positive characteristics it is frequently criticised for causing deforestation of large areas of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations.

In order to ensure sustainable palm oil production, we have been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2011. The RSPO’s standard covers deforestation and further environmental impacts, as well as social aspects such as land rights and labour standards.

We use sustainable RSPO-certified palm oil for 100% of our own label food and non-food products. Our engagement plan for palm is complemented by active memberships in several multi-stakeholder initiatives and a strategic approach to smallholder farmers.

Our Actions

Certification

The ALDI SOUTH Group wants the consumer to be able to rely on the sustainability of their purchasing decisions - a sustainable product of high quality to a good price should be the norm.

This is why we use 100% RSPO-certified palm oil in all our own label food and non-food products. RSPO-certification ensures that palm oil used for ALDI products is produced in an environmental friendly and social responsible way. Palm oil producers are certified through strict verification of the production process in line with the RSPO Principles & CriteriaIn order to ensure that the palm used for our products has been produced sustainably, we rely on the RSPO Chain of Custody Standards. Each part of our supply chain needs to be certified and certified volumes are audited by an independent third party.

In order to better understand the complexity of a palm supply chain, it is displayed in a simplified way in the following graphic:

Palm oil supply chain

For commodities with complex supply chains, such as palm, it is important to carefully choose the most efficient tools to create impact on the ground: For palm, we collaborate pre-competitively with other businesses via the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition. POTC is formed of businesses collaborating in a pre-competitive coalition to remove deforestation and exploitation from the palm oil production sector.

We aim to achieve this by using a robust engagement and evaluation process for measuring the progress of the major First Importers of palm oil into international markets.

Supporting smallholders

Approximately 40% of the globally traded palm oil is produced by smallholders. Certification requirements often represent a barrier for smallholders to participate in global supply chains. The main reasons are the administrative burden and cost linked to certification. Based on this knowledge, we developed an approach to include smallholders in the scope of our commitment:

  1. We purchase and accept RSPO Independent Smallholder Credits to support their work directly.
    Trading RSPO Credits provides smallholders direct access to the RSPO premium for growing sustainable palm oil. Smallholders do not always have access to a certified mill, and so Independent Smallholder Credits are the only possibility for smallholders to benefit from an RSPO premium for growing certified palm. 
    Via our E-Learning, we inform suppliers about these framework conditions and encourage them to engage with smallholders. Also in exchange with actors further up the supplier chain, such as traders, we underline the importance of integrating smallholder farmers in sustainable global palm supply chains.
  2. We participate in the RSPO Smallholder Standing Committee as a retailers’ representative. In this way, the availability of RSPO Independent Smallholder (I.S.) Credits can be increased.
    The aim is to empower smallholder farmers within the RSPO and engage in a platform that makes the palm oil market more sustainable. One of the major achievements of this group so far was the development of a smallholder palm oil standard. In this way, the availability of RSPO Independent Smallholder (I.S.) Credits can be increased.
  3. We initiated a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for a sustainable cultivation of palm oil, focussing on the protection of native forests and environmentally sound cultivation methods.

Our Goal & Performance

Our Goal: All palm (kernel) oil and palm (kernel) oil-based derivatives and fractions used in our own-brand products are certified.

100%

of certified palm (kernel) oil in our own-brand products (since 2018)

Our Projects & Memberships

People from Cote d'Ivoire standing in a group smiling at camera
© Solidaridad
Project in Côte d'Ivoire
Palm oil smallholder project (2017-2021)

Since 2017, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, have been supporting a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for sustainable cultivation of palm. In close cooperation with our NGO partner Solidaridad, we have developed a project focussing on the protection of natural forests and environmentally friendly cultivation methods. Solidaridad offers training for 2,100 smallholders on natural forest protection and environmentally friendly cultivation methods, which are compatible with resource conservation requirements. The cooperatives engaged are COOPALEN, UCCOPES and COOPTOSA from the Sud Comoé region, UCOOPALM from the Grand Ponts region, USCOPAHLD from Loh Djiboua and U3SC from San Pedro.

More about 'Solidaridad'
Four Palm oil pulps and Palm Oil Transparency Coalition logo
Copyright: POTC
Since 2017
Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC)

We are founding member of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC). POTC is a group of businesses working together in a pre-competitive coalition to remove deforestation and exploitation from the palm oil sector. We engage and review the major international importers of palm oil to determine their progress towards tackling deforestation and exploitation in their palm oil supply chains. Our approach aims to promote transparency and encourage progress beyond certification.

More on 'Palm Oil Transparency Coalition'
Logo of Retailers' Palm Oil Group
Since 2012
Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG)

The ALDI SOUTH Group has been a member of the Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG) since 2012. RPOG is a non-competitive coalition of retailers who have the common aim of making the use of sustainable palm oil the norm across all relevant supply chains.

More on 'Retailers’ Palm Oil Group'
Logo of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Since 2011
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

In 2011, the ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not-for-profit organisation that unites stakeholders from the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The RSPO has more than 4,800 members worldwide who represent all links along the palm oil supply chain. They have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO.

Working together

Since 2019, the ALDI SOUTH Group is the only retail representative of the RSPO Smallholder Standing Committee (SHSC). The SHSC’s responsibilities include overseeing the execution of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy and decision making throughout the implementation of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy.

More on 'Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: Smallholder Standing Committee'

Sustainable Development Goals

12 Responsible consumption and production 13 Climate action 15 Life on land 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Human Rights

Principle 1

Support and respect the protection of human rights

Principle 2

Not complicit in human rights abuses

Labour

Principle 3

Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

Principle 5

Abolition of child labour

Principle 6

Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Environment

Principle 7

Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

Promote environmental responsibility

Principle 9

Development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

GRI references

GRI 103: Management approach 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 103-1 Global Reporting Initiative 103-2 Global Reporting Initiative 103-3