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Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) urges Selfridges department store chain to support its efforts to build a more responsible Palm Oil industry.

The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), in response to news that Selfridges will carry Iceland’s own-brand mince pies, urges the department store chain to join the other members of POIG in their efforts to break the link between Palm Oil and deforestation by building a responsible Palm Oil industry.

Selfridges has recently highlighted its commitment to become completely palm-oil-free by Christmas 2019, in a bid to halt deforestation caused by the Palm Oil industry.

POIG shares Selfridges’ vision of mitigating the environmental impacts of Palm Oil production. However, POIG believes Palm Oil elimination is not a solution for deforestation. POIG cautions the company against eliminating Palm Oil and therefore isolating itself from collective efforts of many other major retailers and global brands which are engaged in transforming the Palm Oil industry by demanding improvements in how Palm Oil is produced.

Only a concerted effort by all concerned stakeholders will transform the situation on the ground where Palm Oil is produced. That’s why POIG recommends going to the root of the problem by requiring manufacturers of products sold in Selfridges stores to source Palm Oil that is traceable and verified by a third party as grown without causing deforestation or human rights abuses.

Palm Oil can, and should be, produced in a way that rainforests and Peatland are not destroyed, while ensuring respect for human rights. POIG is the only multi-stakeholder initiative that sets a credible and verifiable benchmark, building upon the work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system. To truly make an impact and show leadership in this sector, companies like Selfridges should join POIG and purchase POIG-verified oil, which is available right now. POIG welcomes Selfridges to join as a member if the company is committed to playing a proactive role in creating transparent and responsible Palm Oil supply chains.

Please refer to POIG’s website for the full statement.