In the United Kingdom, the supermarket chain Iceland decided to ban palm oil from its own products by the end of 2018 which has led to recent criticism from palm oil producers and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council who say it produces wealth for small farmers and requires less land for cultivation than other oils. The supermarket chain decided to eliminate palm oil from products ranging from biscuits to soap because of it’s deforestation of tropical rainforests across Southeast Asia.
Iceland’s Managing Director Richard Walker told the BBC, “Certified sustainable palm oil does not currently limit deforestation and it does not currently limit the growth of palm oil plantations. So until such a time as there is genuinely sustainable palm oil that contains zero deforestation, we are saying no to palm oil.” According to the BBC, Walker also said, “We’re not against palm oil. What we are against is deforestation. There has certainly been no shortage of debate since we made our announcement, and I am pleased by the worldwide attention we have achieved.”