The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) has Protested what it called a misguided negative campaign against palm oil by US food giant Kraft Heinz Company.
In an objection letter dated August 4, 2020 and sent by the Secretariat of the CPOPC, the organization protested the “Palm Oil Free” claim carried on Kraft’s new hazelnut butter in Canada.
“The Sec-CPOPC views that these marketing strategies on boycotting palm oil and fueling misinformation at the detriment of the consumers have undermined the collective effort to produce and use a quality, healthy and sustainable palm oil,” the organization said in a statement.
“The SEC-CPOPC is inviting the Kraft Heinz Company not only to be consistent and respectful towards consumers’ intelligence and the dignity of the millions of people working along the supply chain, but also to consider a partnership to improve and strengthen sustainability,’ it added.
The organization deplored that the “misguided negative campaign on palm oil” was launched by a company that was a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) that was at the forefront in promoting the production and use of sustainable palm oil.
“The Sec-CPOPC is of the view that the Kraft Heinz Company is ambiguous as they call on the small farmers to practice the sustainability criteria while boycotting their products at the same time,” the statement said.
It pointed out that as an RSPO member, the company was cognizant of the list of scientific studies that contradicted its own claim in Canada.
“The Kraft Heinz Company is fully-informed that palm oil has no negative health effects if consumed as part of a balanced diet,” it said
The secretariat also said that palm oil was among the sources of nutrition that offered the best balance between calorie requirements and sustainability, and added that multiple international Non-Governmental-Organizations agreed that the only alternative to palm oil was sustainable palm oil.
CPOPC, the letter said aired hope for the withdrawal of the campaign together with the palm oil free claim.
The statement also seemed to contained a veiled threat, as the organization also pointed out that the company’s products were widely sold in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top two palm oil producers supplying some 85 percent of the global crude palm oil supply. Kraft Heinz Company, it added, also has offices based in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.