17/01/2005 - Dutch producer of oils and fats Loders Croklaan has changedits company logo in an effort to underline the connection with itsMalaysian parent company IOI Group and emphasize their joint palm oilstrategy.
"Growing with palm" was launched in 2002 when Loders Croklaan was boughtby IOI group.The company says that by joining forces with IOI and other firms, it isnow able to control the supply chain from ‘tree to customer’, guaranteeingtracability, quality and sustainable palm oil.
Loders is building the largest palm oil refinery and fractionation plantin Europe in Rotterdam, Netherlands, which on completion later this yearshould process 2,500-3,000 tons of palm a day. Last year, the companyacquired Soctek in Asia and enlarged its US refinery in Channahon.
Palm oil is becoming increasingly important as an ingredient in a widerange of foods, not least because it is trans-fat-free. Trans fatty acidsare formed when fats are hydrogenated to make them more solid and extendtheir shelf life, and are thought to increase the risk of cardiovasculardisease and cancer. Because palm oil is semi-solid naturally, it does notrequire hydrogenation.
Although widespread commercial plantings only began in the 1990s, Malaysiais now the world’s largest producer of palm oil, and continues to benefitfrom a growing awareness of the health properties of the antioxidant-richoil. Indeed, palm oil is now second only to soybean oil in terms of globaldemand, accounting for 28 per cent of total edible oil sales.
But this popularity has led to an increasing problem in meeting demand andinevitably prices have risen sharply. “In early 2002 palm oil reached $300per metric tonne, but over the last few weeks this figure has tipped$500,” an analyst at the US Department of Agriculture Foreign AgricultureService told FoodNavigator.com last June.
As a result, edible oil companies have joined forces to create a neworganisation, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), whoseprincipal objective is to promote the growth and use of sustainable palmoil through co-operation within the supply chain and open dialogue withstakeholders.