As part of our corporate social responsibility, we believe that globalisation requires us to understand and respond to the new challenges we face. The products we make every day are derived from materials that have been produced for thousands of years: wheat, butter and vegetable oil. Cérélia has launched numerous progress initiatives so that, over time and through an unfailing traceability system, we can offer the best guarantee that the raw materials used in our products protect industries, growers and the environment.
What are the challenges?
While preparing our readymade pastries for home use, our employees reproduce the traditional methods of bakers and pastry chefs every day. We use different fats in our recipes: butter, vegetable oils derived from oilseeds such as rapeseed and sunflower, and vegetable oils that are pressed from the fruits of palm and olive trees. One particularly valuable physical feature of the oil extracted from the fruits of the palm tree is its ability to remain solid at room temperature. That characteristic means that raw puff pastry can easily be used in homes. In addition, palm oil is naturally balanced, it is not hydrogenated and does not contain trans fats which are particularly harmful to health. Palm oil is therefore a raw material of choice for the creation of our recipes and for its nutritional benefits. From the environmental standpoint, oil palms give higher yields than all other oilseed crops (for example, oil palms produce eight times as much oil by volume than soybean, with the same plantation area). Furthermore, its cultivation provides valuable plant cover to protect the soil and offers prospects for diversification (agroforestry).
What does Cérélia consider to be Sustainable Palm Oil?
Palm oil, if cultivated using the wrong methods, can lead to massive deforestation, creating irreversible damage to the environment and local communities. But the link between palm oil and deforestation is not inevitable: palm oil users must require their partners to provide them with oil that has been cultivated in a responsible manner in order to stop deforestation.
For Cérélia, sustainable palm oil is above all oil whose origin is known. We are committed to obtaining verifiable information from our suppliers regarding the provenance of the palm oil we use, and its traceability all along its supply chain. The criteria used by Cérélia to identify sustainable palm oil are as follows:
- Oil that has not caused deforestation, i.e. from plantations that cause no harm to forests or ecosystems with a high conservation value, forests with a high carbon value, and all peatland irrespective of depth. Oil that is not produced through slash-and-burn agriculture, supplied by farmers who use farming practices that are the safest for the environment.
- Oil from a supply chain where the parties involved uphold the rights of local communities and workers.
Cérélia specifically aims to support the growth of independent producers who farm on modest plots and who abide by these criteria.
Committed to making continuous progress, Cérélia wants to ensure that its palm oil supply chain respects the highest standards of sustainability.
How does Cérélia intend to implement its commitments?
Cérélia has decided to commit to using 100 % sustainable palm oil that meets the highest available standards by 2018.
Since May 2013, Cérélia has been a founding member of the French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil (www.huiledepalmedurable.org). The members of the alliance are taking steps to ensure that their palm oil procurements are eventually entirely sustainable.
Cérélia, with the support of an NGO named T.F.T. (www.tft-forests.org), is working on its current procurements together with its suppliers, so that the origins of the palm oil it uses become fully transparent.
As part of our vision and commitment, we are creating a project that aims to support small, independent producers in developing responsible practices on their plantations. The approach is based on strong community involvement, and will ultimately become self-sustaining. Our progress will be the subject of regular updates.