Anjali Dattani

Anjali Dattani

The foodservice industry is throwing away tens of thousands of working appliances, every year.  Now CESA is taking a stand and has published a Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment to try to tackle the issue.  Many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled, but this should be the last resort.   

“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “It’s also a waste of money – the value of this unnecessarily scrapped equipment on the second hand market, is tens of £millions per year.  WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is designed to recycle components from equipment that is no longer working.  Sadly it doesn’t protect serviceable equipment from being scrapped too early.” 

CESA has published the guide to provide industry insight into the facts and show how to tackle the problem.  The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab on the home page at

“We’re not suggesting that operators shouldn’t buy new equipment to replace old – often changing menus, refurbishment or upgrades mean that old appliances simply aren’t up to the job,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA.  “However, scrapping isn’t the only answer.  Reconditioning equipment is not just greener, it can also be a major weapon in the campaign to stop misguided caterers who still buy domestic appliances because they are cheaper, despite the health and safety risks.  A supply of second hand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”  

The guide also points out that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities.  “Obviously it will help with any company’s sustainability targets,” says Whitehouse.  “However, there’s also the option of using the income or the equipment itself to help low budget organisations – such as charities, social enterprises, new business start-ups or projects in third world countries. 

“In terms of sustainability, the refurbishment of second hand equipment makes a real contribution to the circular economy.” 

The guide notes that the main reason for the industry’s ‘scrap it’ mentality is a lack of knowledge about the other options available – which the guide seeks to address, with the parting advice: save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it!

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 190 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on CESA visit

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has launched a practical guide to portion sizes: Find Your Balance, to help us understand not just which foods to eat, but how often and in what quantities, in order to maintain a healthy weight and have a balanced diet. The guide uses simple hand and spoon measurements to help us estimate appropriate portions, when cooking and serving food. It is designed to complement the Government’s Eatwell Guide, which provides guidance on the proportions of the main food groups that make up a healthy diet. 

To develop the portion size guidelines, BNF’s Nutrition Scientists reviewed portion size guidance from other countries, analysed portion sizes currently consumed in the UK, and what is available to buy in supermarkets. These portion sizes were modelled in test diets to ensure they could meet current food and nutrient-based recommendations. Based on this, guidance was developed on how often to eat foods from the main food groups and sensible portion sizes for healthy adults, based on an average daily calorie allowance of 2000kcal. 

In order to provide practical ways of estimating these portions without having to weigh out foods, the BNF devised easy to use measures for most foods, based on hands or spoons. 

The BNF has packaged its portion size guidance into three free resources: a fridge poster which provides an overview of the advice; a booklet which expands on how to put the portion guidelines into practice; and a longer digital resource, which is downloadable, with advice on portion sizes for a wide variety of foods.  

Bridget Benelam, Nutrition Communications Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “More often than not, portion size is not something people give much thought to. The amount we put on our plate typically depends on the portion sizes we are used to consuming, how hungry we feel and how much is offered as a helping at a restaurant table or in a packet/ready meal. Nonetheless, in order to maintain a healthy weight we should ensure that our diets contain the right balance of foods, in sensible amounts. This isn’t just about eating less; it’s also about eating differently.”

“When researching the portion size guidelines, we looked at data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey* (NDNS) on food consumption, and found that there was a lot of variation in the portion sizes people reported eating. Our suggested portion size for cooked pasta is 180 grams (254kcal) but, for example, when we looked at portion sizes for spaghetti, the most commonly consumed size was 230 grams (324kcal) and about 10 percent of the sample we looked at were consuming 350 grams as a portion, which would provide nearly 500 calories from the pasta alone, before sauces and sides were added to the meal.”

Within its portion size guide, the BNF has advised how often the suggested portions of foods from different food groups should be eaten during the day, and demonstrates how to put this into practice with an example meal plan. The food groups include: 

  • Fruit and vegetables – 5+ portions per day
  • Starchy carbohydrates – 3-4 portions per day
  • Protein foods – 2-3 portions per day
  • Dairy and alternatives – 2-3 portions per day
  • Unsaturated oils and spreads – small amounts

Benelam continued: “While the types of different food and drinks we need apply to all healthy adults, we understand that no two individuals are the same and the amount of food we need varies from person to person. If you’re tall or very active you may need more and could have larger portions, and if you have a slighter build or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.”

Within the protein foods and starchy carbohydrates food groups, the BNF has broken down portion sizes into different categories to reflect portions that are 200kcal or more, less than 200kcal, and lighter snack-sized portions. This reflects the variety of foods in these groups and whether they would be eaten as a main meal or something lighter, allowing people to choose the portion sizes most appropriate for them. Those with higher calorie needs could have more of the foods that are 200kcal or more, and for people with lower calorie needs, or trying to lose weight, could choose more options under 200kcal. 

Dairy foods are separated into those that are lower or higher fat (‘low’ or ‘medium’ for fat on a food label, versus those that would be labelled ‘high’ for fat) – it is recommended that we should go for those in the lower category most of the time. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the key message is to eat more! Example portions are given but, provided fat and sugar aren’t added, you can have big portions of most fruit and vegetables for relatively few calories so, within reason, you don’t need to limit portion sizes of these. When it comes to unsaturated oils and spreads, these are healthier fats and we should be replacing saturated with unsaturated fats. However, all fats and oils are high in calories so it’s important to keep portions small.

You can access the BNF’s handy guide to portion sizes here:

*PHE (Public Health England) (2016) NDNS: results from Years 5 and 6 (combined)

Lucozade Sport is kicking off 2019 with a new marketing campaign from its functional water brand, Lucozade Sport Fitwater. The New Year activity incorporates social, AV OOH and influencer partnerships. With the majority of New Year’s resolutions featuring a health and wellbeing theme, January is an ideal time for the brand to be making a splash to drive additional sales for operators.

The new campaign will launch across social media on the 7th of January for at least 8 weeks. The creative will focus around a More Than Water messaging, encouraging consumers to purchase Lucozade Sport Fitwater to help replenish what they lose in sweat during exercise, due to the significant amounts of electrolytes. It will also feature in relevant AV OOH locations, to drive brand awareness and encourage purchase. With this campaign, they are able to reach 82% of their target audience at least five times.

The brand has also unveiled additional influencer partnerships as part of the New Year campaign. Lucozade Sport Fitwater is partnering with actress and fitness influencer Gemma Atkinson and social media fitness star Vic Spence to bring the More Than Water campaign to even more of its target audience and drive sales.

Claire Keaveny, Head of Marketing at Lucozade Sport comments, “Operators will certainly notice an increase in consumers looking for healthier and functional drinks in January as many kick-start New Year exercise regimes and lifestyle changes. Our new campaign means those consumers will be looking for Lucozade Sport Fitwater in the chiller before or after exercise, so stock up to make sure it’s available to your visitors today!”

Lucozade Sport Fitwater is now worth £4.3m since its launch in 2017, developed to help customers capitalise on the growing popularity of functional water with their consumers. Fitwater is the 3rd biggest penetration contributor for the Lucozade Sport brand behind the core flavours (Orange & Raspberry)3. Its unique purified spring water contains four key electrolytes including magnesium that contributes to electrolyte balance and a reduction of fatigue, as well as calcium which helps normal muscle function. This allows operators to target consumers before or after exercise.

January need not be so blue, as the first month of the New Year provides great opportunities to capitalise on the trends of the season. 

A recent survey by MONIN, the flavour experts, revealed that more than 20 million Brits are considering going vegan for the month of January, while two thirds of the population are considering giving up alcohol in the same month. To help bar managers ensure they get their offering right MONIN has identified what January’s consumer wants from their no ABV or vegan cocktails.

The most important factor for consumers selecting these drinks is great taste with 41% citing it as a top consideration, coming in second is the need for the drink to be refreshing (38%), while a fruity taste, fresh fruit inclusions and quality ingredients make up the top five key purchasing decisions.

When it comes to choosing the drink based on flavour it was no surprise that strawberry and raspberry are front runners with 41% and 38% opting for these respectively. But while traditional ingredients remain popular, consumers are becoming more adventurous in their palate preferences and it’s vital to keep up with this ever-growing hunger for the ‘next big thing’.

Drinks inspired by orange is a strong third at 34%, with those over 55 most likely to choose this option, while 18-24 year olds and millennials are most willing to experiment. Perhaps the search for alternative flavours is in-part responsible for the resurgence of floral notes such as rose and lavender with 20% and 14% of consumers respectively looking for drinks with these flavours. Rhubarb (19%), coffee (17%), jasmine (15%), cucumber (14%) and chocolate (13%), complete the top 10.

When it comes to cost, on average consumers are willing to pay approximately £5 for a no ABV cocktail. Perhaps unsurprisingly this figure rose in the capital where £5.57 is deemed appropriate, with nearly half (47%) willing to pay above this. However, it’s the Northern Irish who are willing to splash out the most with an average price point of almost £6 being considered acceptable.

Lee Hyde, MONIN’s UK Beverage Innovation Manager said: “Traditionally it is accepted that footfall is low during January. However, our survey shows there is real opportunity for sales in this period, by increasing the drinks range in line with the needs of the customer, venues can be rewarded with additional sales and an increase in customer loyalty.

“Our research also demonstrates that there can’t be a one size fits all approach to a drinks menu with customers of varying ages looking for a different drinking experience. MONIN’s extensive range of syrups offer fantastic versatility with on-trend options including Orange Spritz, Rose, Beetroot and Cucumber, as well as traditional favourites Strawberry and Raspberry.

“Clearly advertising the offering will remind consumers that giving up alcohol or animal products needn’t prevent them from enjoying themselves! Rather than shying away from Dry January and Veganuary establishments can enjoy making the most of these opportunities.” 

Recipe inspiration:


Orange Spritz

30ml Sirop de MONIN Orange Spritz

150ml Non alcoholic sparkling wine


Add all ingredients to a large wine glass with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with orange slices.


Yuzu and Rose Iced Tea

15ml Le Fruit de MONIN Yuzu

10ml Sirop de MONIN Rose

40ml Seedlip Spice

60ml Green tea


Brew the tea and allow to cool. Add all ingredients to a stirring jug with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with edible flowers.


Turn Up The Beet

20 ml Le Fruit de MONIN Beetroot

5 ml MONIN Blackberry syrup

30 ml Seedlip Spice

15 ml lime juice

Top with ginger beer


Combine ingredients except ginger beer in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a blackberry and a sprig of mint and serve.

For more information on MONIN products please visit or Follow MONIN_UK on Instagram Facebook or Twitter


The Craft Guild of Chefs is delighted to announce the details of the 8th Universal Cookery and Food Festival (UCFF). The popular annual event will take place on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at Farrington Oils in Northamptonshire.

Following the huge success of this year’s festival, the 2019 8th UCFF will be themed “From the Land” and will focus on sustainability, alongside complimentary issues such as Brexit, crowd funding, local heroes and ‘Mums in the kitchen’. The new dateline of June reflects pre-harvest, in line with the chosen venue.

Established in 2012, UCFF was the brainchild of Lee Maycock, Ian Nottage and John Feeney during their time as Craft Guild of Chefs committee members. Designed by chefs, for chefs, each year the festival moves around the UK, taking the event directly to chefs in different locations. It is an excellent opportunity for foodservice professionals to gather and listen to thoughts and experiences from influential people.

Ian Nottage, UCFF director says: “We are very excited to be heading to Northampton with UCFF 2019. We always try to tackle industry topics and historically, explored subjects such as obesity, mental health issues, disability and equality in professional kitchens. Next year, sustainability will be high on the agenda, with industry experts taking to the stage to share their experience and knowledge. Particularly in light of the current issues around the use of single use plastics in the hospitality industry.” Nottage continues, “Indeed the choice of Bottom Farm (home of Farrington oils) demonstrates the UCFF’s commitment to sustainability as this is at the very heart of how they produce their rapeseed oil. Duncan Farrington is a passionate farmer who understands the importance of working with nature for a sustainable future, whether it be a ‘no plough’ ethos on the farm to improve soil fertility and reduce CO2 emissions, to the use of solar panels, or adopting bee friendly methods of growing crops.”

The event will include an eclectic mix of demonstrations, workshops, foraging, farm tours and live debates. The farm tour will include a demonstration of rapeseed oil combined with a factory visit. New to 2019, is a game stage, featuring deer and rabbit skinning, as well as falconry and the opportunity for clay pigeon shooting. Farrington Oils is home to Mellow Yellow, the UK’s first ’seed-to-bottle’ producer of cold pressed rapeseed oil. A family run business, it produces a range of fine ingredients for chefs and home cooks, using their sustainably grown rapeseed oil, pressed on the family farm in Northamptonshire.

Duncan Farrington, managing director at Farrington Oils adds: “Hosting the 2019 UCFF is a fantastic honour for Farrington Oils. We can’t wait to welcome industry leading chefs and producers to Bottom Farm for a superb culinary experience. Duncan continues: “We’ll be offering visitors a unique insight into how we produce our award-winning Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil during what is sure to be a brilliant day!” 

The Guild’s Universal Cookery and Food Festival 2018 took place at Westlands Nurseries in Evesham, with more than 350 attendees and almost 60 exhibitors in one day. This included Craft Guild of Chefs members, partners, trade suppliers and local businesses. With sustainability high on the agenda, it received outstanding support from its members and local services to tackle food waste. Spearheaded by Roger Kellow, government account manager at Hobart, along with UCFF, an arrangement was made for surplus food from the event to be donated to local charity Caring Hands, based at the Evesham Christian Centre in Bewdley. The donation received was used in their drop-in diner, food bank and community pantry. Caring Hands said, “Huge thanks to Roger Kellow and all at #UCFF for your generosity and support.”

In addition to developing sustainability, the event’s total recycling rate was an impressive 54%, consisting of 27% card, 20% glass, 7% mixed plastics and cans. UCFF has ambitions to increase this percentage at the 2019 festival and upcoming plans to include food waste from exhibitors is also in the pipeline.
Nottage adds, “As well as being a fun day out for chefs and foodies alike the UCFF always has education at its heart. We believe that by chefs meeting and talking to farmers, growers, foragers, fishermen and industry experts in so many fields they can learn so much, particularly about sustainability. Hopefully they can then take some of those learnings back to their own kitchens to help them become even more sustainable in their day to day working lives.”

As free movement of labour takes centre stage in Brexit negotiations, the latest figures from Fourth, the leading global software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, has revealed that, despite the ongoing narrative around the end of free movement, there has been an increase in EU workers entering the industry during November.

The news comes after several months of declining numbers, with new EU entrants to the industry falling from 41.5% in July, to 38.5% in September. However, the latest statistics for November reveal this has now reverted, with 44% of new starters from the EU. 

The driving force behind this growth has been an influx of seasonal workers to the pub industry. Over the last four months the makeup of the pub workforce has remained relatively flat with 78% of workers from the UK, 17% from the EU, and 5% from the Rest of the World (ROW).

However, November saw a marked increase in the proportion of EU workers in the pub industry, with figures altering to 68% from the UK, 26% from the EU and 6% from the ROW. Interestingly, these figures directly correlate to a surge of EU workers experienced this June, which suggests that seasonal workers from the EU support the pub trade when it enters a busy period, such as Christmas or a large sporting event.

During August and September there was a surge in new starters from the UK, with figures rising to 54.5% in September (up from 52% in July). November figures show this trend has also reverted with 47% of new starters coming from the UK; and 8.5% from the rest of the world (ROW).

The number of UK workers leaving the industry fell to 48% in November, after rising to 55.5% in September. Meanwhile, the number of EU workers leaving the industry increased to 42% in November, after falling to 37.5% in September; while leavers from the ROW increased slightly to 8.5% in November, up from 7% in September.

The increase in new starters from the EU is welcome news for the hospitality industry which is heavily reliant on foreign workers.  Looking at the make-up of the workforce, the statistics reveal that, as of November 2018, 42% of workers in the restaurant, QSR (quick service restaurants/fast-food), hotel and pub sectors are from the EU. British workers make up 48% (down from 50% in July) and the remaining 10% come from the ROW. 

However, the numbers spike significantly for QSR, with almost two thirds (65%) of workers coming from outside the UK – 54.5% from EU and 10.5% from rest of the world. While the reliance on foreign workers remain high, these figures show there has been a significant influx of UK workers to the sector, rising by 8% since September.

On the other hand, the restaurant industries reliance on foreign workers is increasing further, particularly in skilled back of house roles. In July, we reported that 30% of restaurant workers in BOH roles were from the UK, but this number has now decreased to just 26%; with EU workers climbing from 58% in July, to 62% in November. Considering, ROW workers account for 12% of the workforce, 74% of workers are from outside of the UK.

From a regional perspective, the hospitality industry’s reliance on EU workers is significantly exacerbated in London with 52% of the workforce from the EU. Interestingly, the figures show that Northern Ireland and East of England are also very reliant on EU workers representing 46% and 45% of the workforce, respectively.

Mike Shipley, Analytics & Insight Solutions Director at Fourth, said: “Against an uncertain political backdrop as to the future of the free movement of labour from the European Union, it is welcome news to see there has been an influx of EU workers entering the industry, after several months of falling numbers. 

“Interestingly, driving this influx, is the pub industry which has experienced a surge in workers from the EU as we approach the busy Christmas period. This trend reflection fluctuations experienced in June, suggesting that EU workers enter the industry and pick up extra shifts, during busy periods.

“This further reveals our industry’s reliance on foreign workers, particularly in the restaurant and quick service restaurant sectors, as well as back of house roles. Amongst the many challenges our industry currently faces, people are often listed as the biggest concern and ensuring a pragmatic immigration system after Brexit, along with a conscious, combined and concerted effort to attract young UK talent into the industry, is imperative.

“In this uncertain environment, at the very least, operators need to have a clear understanding of the make-up of their workforce. In addition, with the high churn of workers in the industry, making your business an attractive prospect for employee and ensuring you have maximised efficiencies across your management of people and product is key.

“Our sole aim is helping our clients negotiate these challenges, whether it’s introducing an innovative ‘Pay-as-You-Go’ payment solution to attract employees, such as our partnership with Wagestream, or nailing down demand forecasting and working with partner technology providers to give a complete snapshot of business performance in one easy-to-view dashboard with single sign on capabilities.”

The statistics were mined from Fourth Analytics and based on a sample comprising over 30,000 hospitality industry employees, with an even split across the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors


This Christmas, Hobart Government Account Manager Roger Kellow, calls time on a career that has spanned three decades; a period of unprecedented growth and success for the company’s public sector business.

The industry stalwart, universally respected for his engaging personality and passion for hospitality as a whole, will be a tough act to follow. Individuals from across the industry took to social media to congratulate Roger on his career, commend his unwavering commitment to the public sector and celebrate his retirement.

Branded “a true gentleman of the profession” and “an absolute legend”, some thanked him for the help and guidance he’d provided them with, whilst others maintained he will “go down in history” – a timely reminder of just how much Roger has achieved throughout his career.

Neel Radia, National Chair of the NACC who earlier this year presented Roger with Honourary Membership to the association praised his outstanding contribution to the care sector, whilst the HCA added that it was his “heart of gold” that truly set him apart.

Tim Bender, Sales Director at Hobart UK and colleague of Roger’s for over 25 years encapsulated the tributes: “Roger is the definition of the word gentleman. Always smiling, always with time to help others and always trying to make a difference in the industry he loves. It’s with a heavy heart that we lose him from our day to day operations, but his impact will be felt for years to come.

Fortunately, this is not goodbye forever as Roger has agreed to return in a consultancy role, but in the meantime everyone here at Hobart wishes him all the best in his semi-retirement which is so truly deserved.”

Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fill-ax-is) is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. The Anaphylaxis Campaign is the only UK charity operating solely for the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions. Severe symptoms such as swollen airways, acute asthma or becoming unconscious usually develop suddenly, often within minutes after being exposed to an allergy trigger such as a particular food. A fatality can occur within a short time of contact with an allergen. 

  • Nearly 200,000 people in the UK have a potentially life-threatening allergy
  • 1-2% of adults are affected by food allergy and 1 million children
  • 7 million people have allergies severe enough to require specialist allergy care
  • Between 10 and 20 people die every year from anaphylaxis
  • The most “at risk” group are 15 – 25-year olds

Their aim is to help people with severe allergies to be more confident in control of their lives and to create a safe environment for them by working with and educating the food industry, schools and universities, health professionals and other key audiences. Their focus is on medical facts, food labelling, risk reduction and day-to-day management of allergies. Guided by some of the UK’s top allergy experts, the Campaign has become a leading adviser to the food industry, government and health professionals.

Protecting Allergic Customers

Food allergy is real for many people, it’s not just a fad. Food allergy can be serious. Occasionally it can kill. Common causes among the UK population include peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts and Brazil nuts), shellfish, fish, eggs, milk, wheat, soya, kiwi fruit and sesame seeds.

Most people who are producing or serving food understand how serious food allergy can be, but they need clear information to ensure they can minimise the risks.

By developing a good understanding of food allergy and training members of staff to develop strategies to manage risks, you will be able to ensure that customers with allergies have confidence when they eat your food.

Catering for Allergy – Assessing Risk

You will need to assess what you and your staff already know. What experience and knowledge does your team already have?

Has anyone ever seen somebody having an allergic reaction? What happened? Was a food involved?

Please take a look at the Allergywise training to ensure all your staff are confident to meet the food requirements of the students you are serving;

And information on what to do in an emergency;

Catering at Christmas for the Allergic Student

With an increase in the number of festivities and celebrations at Christmas, catering for the severely allergic students, who are in the most “at risk” age group can be challenging for catering companies.

We hope these top tips will be helpful to you and the students you are catering for;

They've also created an Anaphylaxis Campaign Advent Calendar, tips are posted each day in the lead up to Christmas on our Facebook @anaphylaxiscomsInstagram @anaphylaxis_campaign and Twitter @Anaphylaxiscoms to help those affected by allergies stay safe this Christmas. You can also read the Helpline Team’s tips for getting ready for the festive season with their advice on all things Christmas related.

Download the University catering poster here.

The TUCO Chair's Charity, Mary's Meals, works hard supporting those suffering the effects of extreme poverty by providing every child with one daily meal in their place of education. It costs just £13.90 to feed a child for a whole school year, and TUCO members have worked hard over the years to raise significant amounts of money to support schools in Malawi.

Matthew White, TUCO Chair, and Mike Haslin, TUCO CEO, recently visited Malawi to visit four schools that benefit from the Mary's Meals programme; two of which are sponsored by TUCO. The pupils receive a free cup of nutrition-enriched porridge at the start of their day. Matthew said; "they treasure it so much they were holding their cup like a trophy to sit under a tree and eat it". For some of these pupils, it will be the only meal they eat all day. 

We are delighted to share with our members the latest report below on one of TUCO's sponsored schools; Milare Primaryin Blantyre, Malawi. The report shows how much TUCO’s support means to the children and the whole community, as well as showing you, our members, exactly how hard your donations are working.


I concentrate better in class when I have eaten... I dream of becoming a nurse in future so I can be injecting people. My favourite subjects are Life Skills, English, Chichewa and Maths.” - Bridget Mtambalika, 9 years, Standard 5.

"The feeding program is improving performance in class knowing they learn while full. Absenteeism has been reduced as well” - Damson Jeffrey, Teacher

The world’s largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, has published a detailed action plan to map and monitor all of its suppliers. If implemented, this would put the palm oil giant, which supplies 40% of the world’s palm oil, one step closer to finally eliminating deforestation from its supply chain and would have a major impact on the rest of the industry.

“Wilmar supplies palm oil to most of the world’s major food and cosmetics brands. So today’s announcement is a potential breakthrough. If Wilmar keeps its word, by the end of 2019 it will be using satellites to monitor all of its palm oil suppliers, making it almost impossible for them to get away with forest destruction. Greenpeace will be watching closely to make sure Wilmar delivers,” said Kiki Taufik, Global Head of Indonesian Forests Campaign, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The move follows an intensive global campaign by Greenpeace that aimed to end deforestation for palm oil across the supply chain of the biggest household brands and palm oil buyers in the world. Over 1.3 million people signed a Greenpeace petition calling for an end to deforestation for palm oil.

In the past three months, activists occupied Wilmar’s refinery in Indonesia and twice boarded a tanker ship carrying Wilmar's palm oil products. Greenpeace Italy blockaded the factory of one of its major customers, Mondelez (owner of Oreo, Cadbury and Ritz). Activists across the world also brought scenes of forest destruction to Mondelez HQs around the world.

Greenpeace is now pausing its campaign to give Wilmar space to put this plan into action.

Forest destruction for commodity production is fuelling a climate and extinction crisis. Scientists warn that keeping global warming below a 1.5ºC rise means ending deforestation and restoring forests. Brands and traders promised to clean up their supply chains by 2020. However, with less than 400 days to go companies are still failing across the board, in part because traders and their customers failed to gather the maps of their suppliers’ plantations needed to monitor what happens on the ground.

Wilmar’s new action plan is designed to address that gap: it commits Wilmar to map its suppliers’ entire landbank by the end of 2019, including concessions from which it does not yet source, and to use high-resolution satellite monitoring to check for deforestation. Companies caught clearing rainforest are to be immediately suspended.

Wilmar’s announcement puts pressure on the rest of the sector, including other major commodities traders like Golden Agri Resources and Musim Mas that also source palm oil from forest destroyers. Household brands like Mondelez, Nestlé and Unilever, source from many different suppliers and have a responsibility to see equivalent commitments rolled out across the industry.

“As the world wakes up to the climate and extinction crisis, inaction is not an option. Wilmar has taken an important step and must now put its plan into action immediately. Stopping deforestation requires industry-wide action. Other traders and brands must now follow with credible plans to map and monitor all of their suppliers. Equally important is action to end exploitation and human rights abuses in the palm oil sector,” said Taufik.

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