Palm oil

Iceland’s banning palm oil from its own-brand products

The supermarket, not the country

Iceland (the supermarket, not the country) has pledged to ban palm oil from all its products. It will be the first supermarket to do so.

What it means: Palm oil is in almost everything, from soap, to peanut butter, to biscuits. According to Iceland, palm oil is currently in more than half its own brand products.

Campaigners say that palm oil is responsible for the destruction of rainforests around the world. But it's cheap, and mass-produced, which makes it a useful ingredient for supermarkets to make food cheaply.

The problem with palm oil is in what goes on in the 'supply chain'. Although some companies will say they're committed to using 'sustainable' palm oil, products are bought and sold so many times before they get put into the food we eat, it's pretty difficult to be 100 per cent sure where that ingredient has come from. That's why Iceland is going for a no-nonsense approach and getting rid of it totally.

Iceland has said that cutting palm oil will increase its costs, but it won't pass that cost onto consumers by making products more expensive. Instead, they've decided to shoulder it, putting values before profit. But there's also another side to that story: as consumers get more and more aware of environmental issues, campaigns are calling for them to boycott companies with a bad environmental record. Being seen to be care about the environment is becoming good for business.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?