Why shop palm oil free

Wildlife-rich forests are cleared to create palm oil plantations. Most people know it’s a problematic ingredient – but it’s hard to avoid something so widely used.

Football pitches of palm oil plantations worldwide :

That's an area about the same size as New Zealand!

We are organic farmers and believe in treading lightly on our planet. Cooking with a fresh Riverford veg box keeps ultra-processed foods out of your kitchen. And when you top up your veg with organic groceries, you can trust that our whole range is 100% palm oil free.

The problem with palm oil

The jungles of Sumatra and Borneo (where most palm oil is produced) are exceptionally biodiverse. Endangered species including elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans are all threatened by deforestation for palm oil plantations.

Not only this, but the cleared areas of land provide greater accessibility to the remaining forest for poachers and wildlife smugglers.

Why is it so popular?

Firstly, it’s cheap! Oil palms yield up to 10x more oil per hectare than soya beans, rapeseed or sunflowers. Any alternative would need more land, making it more expensive.

Palm oil is also exceptionally versatile. With a very long shelf life, and a high melting point (remaining semi-solid at room temperature, like butter), it has a thousand different uses.

Hiding in plain sight

Palm oil is a common ingredient in all sorts of everyday items: margarine, baked goods like biscuits and bread, breakfast cereals, pizza dough, instant noodles, chocolate and ice cream, as well as household products like shampoo, lipstick, candles and detergents.

50% of all packaged supermarket products contain palm oil

It can appear in ingredients list under 25 different names – so even if you’re reading packaging to avoid palm oil, you’re unlikely to always recognise it when you see it!

A sustainable future?

Palm oil offers a major source of income to developing countries – and no alternative oil yet exists that is as versatile and as efficient to produce. Developing a sustainable approach to palm oil production is far more desirable than outlawing it in the long term.

The palm oil industry has been making efforts to become more sustainable in recent years. However, their work is still in its early days – for now, Riverford will remain palm oil free.

Riverford is 100% palm oil free

A fresh Riverford veg box (with seasonal recipes alongside) inspires you to cook from scratch; the best way to avoid unexpected additives.

We also offer a range of organic groceries – all made by us, or by artisan makers we know and trust. To save you from poring over the ingredients, we’ve pledged that our whole shop is 100% palm oil free.

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Choose palm oil free shopping. Choose Riverford

When you choose a Riverford veg box, you choose fresh, sustainable, ethically produced food you can trust (with no surprise ingredients!).

Choose from a wide selection of seasonal boxes – and top up with organic dairy, drinks, store cupboard staples and more. Delivery is free; no need to be home.

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