Sustainable Palm Fruit Oil

Frequently asked questions 


We seek to operate with transparency and ethics when it comes to our use of Palm Oil.  We are proud to be 100% certified by RSPO (The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and buy only from a segregated supply chain.  If you would like to know more about our supply and use of sustainable palm fruit oil, read on......

Q. How is sustainable palm fruit oil different? 

Here at Nairn’s, we are very aware of the environmental issues surrounding the production of palm oil and therefore work with the with RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) to ensure ALL the palm fruit oil we buy is sustainably sourced. This means the palm oil we use is made in such a way that you can be confident production is sustainable, and produced without causing harm to the environment or to society.

The RSPO complete strict audits and checks to ensure that producers comply with their criteria for sustainably sourced palm oil and that orangutans and other wildlife are not at threat. Such criteria include measures to protect soil fertility, waste disposal, water management, support of local communities and crucially that new plantations have not replaced primary forest or high conservation grade areas.

Other conservation bodies such as the World Wildlife Fund also support the use of palm oil that is sourced responsibly.  With palm oil the most commonly used vegetable oil in the world, they talk about how the “WWF envisions a global marketplace based on socially acceptable and environment-friendly production and sourcing of palm oil. We aim to encourage increased demand for, and use of, goods produced using such practices”.  A link to a helpful section on palm oil can be viewed here



Q. Can you prove you ONLY use sustainable palm oil? 

Yes. we only use fully sustainable palm fruit oil, 100% certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This RSPO website shows you that we have to prove to an external auditor that we have purchased enough sustainable palm fruit oil to make all the stock that we sell where we state the use of sustainable palm. 

We also have to prove that we keep it separate in our storage areas and that all recipes are correct as well as checking that our suppliers are certified with RSPO every week. Our certificate was renewed recently with no non-conformances. 

You’ll see on the RSPO website here the difference between the different grades of certification. At Nairn’s we use palm fat which meets the standard for the segregation model, so we can be absolutely sure that the palm fat we buy has always been kept separate from non-certified palm products.


Q. What is a segregated supply chain and why is it important? 

We go one step further to ensure that ALL the sustainable palm oil we use comes from a segregated supply chain. This means that the certified sustainable palm oil has to be sourced, milled, refined and manufactured separately from uncertified sources (the latter uncertified sources being where most of the negative press comes from.) We regularly look at other ways to ensure that the Palm Oil we buy meets the strictest criteria, and as further developments are made, we will investigate them. 

Please click here to find out more about the certification process, and the different grades of certification here.

For further information on replanting, you'll find details here.


Q. Why don't you use other oils e.g flaxseed, canola in your products?

 Many people ask why we use Palm Oil at all. Palm Oil is one of the most used edible oils in the world. We use certified sustainable palm fruit oil in our oatcakes as it has unique functional properties other oils do not have. It is a non-hydrogenated source of fat which is naturally free of detrimental trans-fatty acids. Palm fruit oil is also cholesterol free, has good digestibility properties and contains a high level of anti-oxidants (vitamin E). It is also more stable than sunflower and olive oils and therefore less prone to rancidity, which is key to helping ensure consumers can enjoy great quality oatcakes time after time.


Q.  What is the difference between Palm Fruit Oil and Palm Kernel Oil?

Palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil are not one and the same thing. 

Palm fruit oil (as used in all Nairn’s products), is a non-hydrated oil that is free from trans fats.  It is cultivated mostly in Columbia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and the oil comes from the pressed flesh of the palm fruit. This oil typically contains equal amounts of saturated and unsaturated oils and is rich in micronutrients.

Palm kernel oil, is made from the kernel/seed of the palm fruit.  Kernels are taken from the palm fruit clusters and pressed to produce oil.  Unlike Palm Fruit oil which is cholesterol free, Palm kernel oil contains over 80% saturated fats which can have a negative impact on cholesterol levels and heart health.


Q. Do you ever investigate alternatives? 

We have looked for alternatives to palm fruit oil, but have not yet found one which has the same functional properties as sustainable palm fruit oil which is carefully sourced from a segregated supply chain.

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