How far has Italy come in the uptake of sustainable palm oil? What are the challenges and opportunities for the Italian market? How can companies communicate better about the benefits of sustainable palm oil, their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help prevent deforestation?
With the aim of answering these questions, the event "Italy and Sustainable Palm Oil: challenges and opportunities" was held on Tuesday 7 May in Milan in correspondence with the TuttoFood and Seeds&Chips trade shows. Over fifty participants debated these topics during the inspiring afternoon which saw contributions from market leaders such as Ferrero and Unigrà for the food sector and the Intercos group for cosmetics, together with Robeco, representing financial institutions.
In the European market, 74% of imported palm oil for food products is already RSPO certified sustainable, however in Italy, it is estimated that just 43% of the total palm oil used in food is RSPO certified, showing untapped potential for progress.
Francesca Morgante, RSPO's Market Development Manager for Europe reiterated the importance of establishing an ongoing dialogue between the parties: "We were very happy to listen to the important commitments made by our Italian members during the meeting. Without concrete actions Europe will struggle to achieve its sustainability goals. The purchase of RSPO credits is an important first step for those who want to commit to a sustainable supply.”
The event successfully brought together the Italian actors from across the supply chain to talk openly about the challenges and opportunities related to the responsible supply of palm oil and it was seen by many participants as a fres starting point to act more transparently and strategically to help make sustainable palm oil the norm in Italy and elsewhere. The event was co-organised by RSPO, EPOA and the Italian Union on Sustainable Palm Oil.