Spain: Anti Palm Oil Claims are Misleading

trapa
Trapa was wrong. So are all food companies using labels to discriminate palm oil for commercial purposes. We warned Spanish consumers a few weeks ago. We are now glad to notice that the Spanish Association for the Self-Regulation of Commercial Communication shares our view.

The self-regulatory body of the advertising industry has stated that Trapa used data in a biased way, omitting information and undermining the reputation of the palm oil supply chain.

According to the Association, Trapa’s commercial portrayed palm oil as the sole responsible crop for deforestation through bold statements that left no room for interpretation. The ad did not mention at all how a transition from palm oil to other vegetable oil would cause further deforestation. We used science to demonstrate that Trapa’s claims are false.

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Why?

Because Trapa is following the footsteps of other food companies in Europe – Coop in Italy and Iceland in UK: inducing consumers to believe its products are better by lying to their face. Through studies and empirical research, we have demonstrated that the absence of palm oil does not correspond to any significant reduction of saturated fats.

This statement by the Spanish Association for Self-Regulation will hopefully send a crystal clear message to Trapa and all food producers and traders around Europe: fake-news will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, the verdict of the association is not binding. It is thus very likely that Trapa will continue to scam consumers and encourage deforestation.

Trapa is not favoring sustainability. It is actually escaping its responsibility for commercial purposes. A responsible company would invest in a sustainable supply chain. Trapa prefers to accuse palm oil and replace it with less sustainable vegetable oils. Obviously, the consumer is unaware. In other words, Trapa’s claims deceive the consumer and – of course – discriminate palm oil.

WHY IS TRAPA NOT INVESTING IN A CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN? 

Because it would require commitment and investments. Trapa prefers the easy way: misleading consumers.

IS THE REPLACEMENT OF PALM OIL CERTIFIED AND SUSTAINABLE?

No, it’s not. Palm oil is the only crop to be certified as sustainable.

Palm oil is the most sustainable crop with a fully certified supply chain. Demonizing it would be socially and environmentally counterproductive. It is the crop with the highest yield per hectare: 3.8 tonnes vs. 0.8 for rapeseed and 0.7 for sunflower. Replacing palm plantations with another crop would only lead to a greater impact on the environment – more land needed and consequently more deforestation and fewer orangutans. This would not improve sustainability levels in any way, shape or form.

Science, facts and reality show that, at the moment, there is not a single alternative to palm oil. Moving away from palm oil would mean total chaos: the impoverishment of local population and environmental disaster. We must, therefore, work to achieve greater sustainability of the supply chain.

Hence, we ask Trapa and the other companies that are boycotting palm oil to please stop with this nonsense. Please. Before too much damage is done to the environment and to us consumers….

For Free Choice aims to promote scientific information and method in public discourse. For Free Choice also defends consumers’ choice rights against the smear and demonizing campaigns which aim to confuse them and benefit specific interests.

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