Thursday, 14 February 2019 09:14

TUCO Sustainable Palm Oil Forum round-up

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On Tuesday 5th February, suppliers and members gathered at TUCO HQ in Manchester to hear from key industry speakers about palm oil, covering topics such as; the oils and fats market, what palm oil is and why we use it, how to take part in a certified supply chain, and an NGO view on palm oil. 

Sustainability is a key focus for TUCO and we're working hard to ensure we're supporting the use of sustainable palm oil. The forum was a unique opportunity to ensure our members and suppliers are clued up on the latest movements in sustainable palm oil, and a key event to showcase the support we're offering in our members' journeys to sustainability. 

The insightful day was filmed and we're delighted to share the videos with you below. You can also view them on our YouTube channel here

We heard from:

Kevin McAlister, Customer Innovation Manager for AAK

Kevin has worked in the oils and fats industry for several major international manufacturers for 28 years in a variety of roles encompassing laboratory work, quality and food safety management systems and technical management, along with innovation. He has a broad knowledge of processing and modification techniques of oils and fats, along with their applications in food, feed and other non-food areas. Kevin currently works as a Customer Innovation Manager for AAK, a Global Oils and Fats manufacturer and one of the founding members of the RSPO. Hear from Kevin below:

Download Kevin's presentation here.

Jonathan Gorman, Tehnical Director at Efeca

Jonathan is an environmentalist and sustainability professional with many years’ experience leading the development and delivery of supply chain sustainability programmes within a global FMCG retailer across a range of areas including forest commodities (including soya, palm oil, Brazilian beef and wood and paper), marine sustainability (including seafood but also marine health issues such as ocean plastics) and other environmental areas including sustainable packaging

Since July 2017 Jonathan has been working for Efeca, a small natural resources consultancy, providing strategic and technical support on the sustainable sourcing of agricultural and forest commodities to the private and public sector

A core part of Jonathan’s work in the last year has been to help develop and establish the cross-industry UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya with funding provided through the UK government. Hear from Jonathan below:

Download Jonathan's presentation here.

Judith Murdoch

Judith has worked within the palm oil industry for more than 10 years. With previous experience in food service, marketing, communication and the food manufacturing sector, she has an in-depth knowledge in the field of sustainability and has led marketing and CSR functions at a global edible oils business level. Having worked for one of the founding members of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Judith has unrivalled experience, breadth and depth of knowledge of the sustainable palm oil supply chain.

Judith was instrumental in creating the forum. Hear from Judith below:

Download Judith's presentation here.

Michelle Desilets, Executive Director of the Orangutan Land Trust

Michelle has been working alongside Lone Droscher Nielsen in orangutan conservation for over 15 years. In 1994, Michelle took her first trip to Borneo, as a volunteer-tourist at the Tanjung Puting National Park. In the years that followed, she continued to visit Borneo as a volunteer for as long as 4 months at a time. In 1997, Michelle and fellow volunteer Lone, sought the advice of Dr Willie Smits to create a new project in Central Kalimantan to deal with the swelling numbers of orphaned orangutans. Dr Smits agreed to help, and with the financial backing of the Gibbon Foundation and Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Indonesia, the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project was born. It received its first dozen orangutans in 1999. Now the centre has over 600 orangutans in its care, and is regarded as perhaps the finest primate rehabilitation project in the world.

Michelle founded the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK to support the work of Lone as well as the other activities of BOS in Indonesia. As Executive Director of BOS UK, Michelle initiated a number of international campaigns to help orangutans, such as campaigns to end the illegal trade of orangutans and to repatriate known smuggled orangutans, as well as the campaign for sustainable palm oil. She now sits on several working groups in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

In 2005, Michelle gave up her career in education to devote her efforts full time to these campaigns, as well as the never-ending search for the funds needed to continue the efforts in the field. Hear from Michelle below:

Download Michelle's presentation here.

Andy Green, Responsibly Sourced Development Manager at Exova BM TRADA

Andy works extensively with clients and group offices on developing responsible sourcing platforms and meeting the growing number of sustainability targets. Predominantly focussing on the food, home, personal care and Animal Feed industries, Andy has been instrumental in supporting the uptake of certified sustainable palm oil through the RSPO certification scheme. He has been central to the development of Exova BM TRADA's Responsibly Sourced Scheme and is passionate about finding an effective route to demonstrate sustainability on a range of products, whilst limiting the resource costs of doing so. Andy remains committed to the aims of sustainablity standards, the benefits of independent certification and the need to ensure a harmonised approach to audit requirements. 

Hear from Andy below:

Download Andy's presentation here.

Catherine Barton, Field Conservation Manager Chester Zoo

Catherine joined Chester Zoo's Field Programmes team in 2008, her current role as Field Conservation Manager is heavily focused around managing partnerships with field projects in Borneo and Sumatra and engaging with stakeholders in the palm oil supply chain, from other NGOs to field partners and local businesses. She chairs the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European equivalent (EAZA) palm oil working group, working with zoos and other organisations nationally and internationally to find solutions to unsustainable palm oil.

Cat leads the Chester Zoo field programmes team's involvement in conservation campaigns, working closely with other departments on behaviour and social change initiatives including the Palm Oil Challenge campaign. Hear from Cat below:

Download Cat's presentation here.

Paula Martindale, Senior Operations Catering Manager at the University of Chester

Paula is the Senior Operations Catering Manager for Commercial Services at the University of Chester and since she started 21 years ago, she has seen a growing need to ensure that the service they provide reduces impact on the environment. As a result, the catering department continually reviews the ethical resourcing of products. Paula also has an interest sustainable palm oil through her son who has been researching the effects of deforestation in the Sumatran rainforest as part of his PHD thesis, he has been able to show her first hand the impact unsustainable palm oil production can have on the environment.
The University of Chester has collaborated with Chester Zoo who have been working on making Chester the first (unsustainable) Palm Oil free city. In June 2017, the university became a Palm Oil Champion through the project. This included auditing their supply chain and making changes to their own products produced in their onsite bakery. The catering service constantly reviews their activities to ensure environmental impact is reduced and to meet the sustainable mission statement of the university.

Download Paula's presentation here.

If you have any questions or ideas, or simply wish to get more involved, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Question and Answer session

Read 1383 times Last modified on Friday, 15 February 2019 14:37

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