Oceania is both a producer and importer of palm oil. Whilst Australia and New Zealand import a relatively small amount palm oil, the amount is quite large given their fairly small populations. Many major Australian palm oil using companies have already made commitments towards use of sustainable palm oil and most major supply chain actors have made sourcing commitments, however the industry is still far from fulfilling these commitments.
Palm oil use is not likely to increase in Australia, due to public concern over the use of saturated fats in food and the impacts of unsustainable palm oil production. Many companies have been shifting their oil purchases away from palm oil.
Papua New Guinea is a significant palm oil producing country, producing the largest amount of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) after Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Australia represents a significant manufacturing and retail market, given its relatively small population.
- Australia imports approximately 140,000 tonnes of palm oil annually.
- Australia’s proposed Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Palm Oil) Bill 2011 has not been passed into law, and there is currently no obligation to list palm oil on food ingredient lists—the generic term ‘vegetable oil’ may be used.
- In response to this proposed labelling bill, the RSPO expressed concern that by singling out palm oil as the only edible oil that requires explicit labelling, this creates the impression that the production of other vegetable oils does not involve similar challenges in relation to environmental and social issues.
- The Progressive Enterprises supermarket chain, which operates in Australia and New Zealand, now labels palm oil on all its private-label food and non-food products, including Homebrand and Select. In Australia, Progressive operates the Woolworths chain of stores.
- Australia currently has 114 RSPO members.
- New Zealand imports only a small amount of palm oil at only 1,000 tonnes per year.
- The Progressive Enterprises supermarket chain, which operates in Australia and New Zealand, now labels palm oil on all its private-label food and non-food products, including Homebrand and Select. In New Zealand, Progressive operates four store chains: Woolworths, Supervalue, Freshchoice and Countdown. The palm oil labelling policy applies across all of these stores.
- New Zealand currently has 19 RSPO members, including 4 consumer goods manufacturers (Chemcolour Industries (NZ) Limited, Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, Griffin’s Foods Ltd and Icelandic Group Holdings Limited) and 2 retailers (Davis Trading Company Ltd. and Foodstuffs Own Brands Ltd).
Papua New Guinea
- Papua New Guinea (PNG) is an important palm oil producing country.
- Currently, 162,427 ha is RSPO certified.
- Due to its developing status, it enjoys preferential access to the European market via lower import tariffs. While there are several large-scale estates, smallholder production is a significant part of PNG production.
- It is a distant third ranked exporter of palm oil in the world.
- 7% of annual production capacity of CSPO is contributed by PNG, making it the third largest producer of CSPO after Malaysia and Indonesia.
- It has two RSPO-certified growers: SIPEF and New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL), which also operates in Solomon Islands and includes 8,111 independent smallholders.
- Approximately 30% of its growers are smallholders.
- There is one RSPO affiliate member company from PNG – PNG Palm Oil Council.
- The grower SPZ Enterprises (PNG) Pty Ltd joined the RSPO in 2011.
SPOTT companies in this region
- Glenealy Plantations Sdn Bhd
- Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd
- New Britain Palm Oil Ltd
- Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd
Resources and references
- Environmental Sustainability of Oil Palm Cultivation in Papua New Guinea
- New Britain Palm Oil Limited – Mapping Segregated Supply Chains
- New Britain Palm Oil Limited – Smallholders
- Palm Oil in Australia: Facts, Issues and Challenges
- RSPO members Australia
- RSPO members Papua New Guinea
- Zoos Victoria Don’t Palm Us Off
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