Australia and the UK are the first countries to adopt the world's first Palm Oil Free Certification trademark which aims to ease the felling of rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil.
The trademark has received approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), IP Australia and IPO UK, and a further 14 nations have applications pending.
The first company to have products approved to display the logo is Australian eco cleaning products company, Clean Conscience.
The issue is gaining momentum worldwide. Recently, SumOfUs, a global consumer advocacy organisation with more than 175,000 members in Australia, called on manufacturing giant Goodman Fielder to strengthen and clarify its palm oil procurement policy, and align it to other global food giants, such as Kellogg, Mars, and Ferrero.
The International Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Program (POFCAP) is managed by a not for profit organisation comprising professionals from the business, education, research & government sectors.
“Members of the POFCAP team have been involved with researching and educating people on Palm Oil production for a long time and have been increasingly inundated with people asking where or how they could buy Palm Oil free products,” POFCAP spokesperson Bev Luff said.
“With no fully certified Palm Oil Free accreditation program or trademark in existence globally, we decided the only way forward was to create one.”
According to POFCAP's creators, palm oil is still found in over 40 per cent of all products available in the supermarket, from food, to household cleaning products, to personal care products.
POFCAP also seeks to address confusion around sustainable palm oil, which they say is commendable, but is rare and difficult to trace.
POFCAP said it had developed its own research methods so consumers can be sure that a POFCAP certified product has had every ingredient and its derivatives thoroughly checked to be Palm Oil Free. If any doubt exists, the product is not certified.
The logo features Jabrick the young orang-utan who was a victim of deforestation.
All profits from the certification program go towards partner organisations that seek to make the world a better place for animals.