Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Khor Reports - fast/snack food watch: Macdonalds in Singapore - trimming palm oil for canola and sun blends

20 October 2015: Mcdonald's starts to offer all-day breakfast

Editor's note: Not sure about Southeast Asia.

Four Reasons McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Is A Headache for Franchisees - Breakfast sandwiches are cheaper than many of McDonald’s other burgers and chicken sandwiches, so by offering full-time breakfasts, McDonald's has essentially created a new lower-priced alternative to its lunch and dinner fare. In Chicago, for instance, an Egg McMuffin is $3.29, a Big Mac is $4.39, and a grilled chicken sandwich is $4.79. Hash browns also sell for 19¢ less than a small order of fries. If customers decide they want eggs for lunch instead of a burger, total sales figures will drop. "We are trading customers down from regular menu to lower-priced breakfast items," said a franchisee in the Nomura survey....

4 August 2015: Checking out breakfast at Mcdonalds in Singapore.  The cheapest set option is SGD 3 (the lowest price set in Malaysia would be RM 4;  SGD3=RM8.40 @2.80).  Tea comes with (real) milk and Rainforest Alliance Lipton tea bag. Note they use a canola blend oil on sat (saturated) fats health concerns and par frying is done with sunflower blend. Thus, Nuggets get 30 pct less sat fats.
source: Khor Reports blog, 4 August 2015 at Macdonalds in Singapore

Monday, October 19, 2015

MEOA 2nd RAISE SEMINAR 2015 - 28th October 2015, MPOB Bactris Hall, Bangi

The Malaysian Estate Owners Association (MEOA) 2nd RAISE SEMINAR 2015
Date : Wednesday, 28th October 2015
Venue : MPOB Bactris Hall, Bangi
Time : 8.00 am to 5.30 pm
1. IJMP’s Nurturing Sustainability : Footprints on Socio-Environmental Aspects
2. ‘Hot Topic’ – Sustainability Certifications
3. ‘Hot Topic’ : Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
4. Experience Sharing from Meat & Livestock, Australia
5. Oil Palm Fertilisers
6. Experience Sharing from Univanich, Thailand - Mill Biogas Capture
7. Palm Oil Cost of Production
Rm250/person Email: meoa.secretariat@gmail.com

Palm oil alternative or a new business model? Solazyme to supply Unilever 3 million gallons of algae oil for soaps and toileteries

19 October 2015: Palm oil alternative or a new business model? Solazyme to supply Unilever 3 million gallons of algae oil for soaps and toileteries

Editor's note: The peat smog haze is driving up palm oil's coverage in international media  and online. Is the solution a new business model? Better certification? Banks acceding to sustainability rules? Or algal oil? Is 3 million gallons = 13,600 tonnes?
Yes, palm oil is destructive — but scientists are creating compelling alternatives September 19, 2015 · 11:30 AM EDT  By Shannon Kellehe; ...Palm oil comes from the clusters of brilliant orange fruit of the tree Elaeis guineensis. It’s grown in plantations that span millions of acres across southeast Asia; companies often clear-cut forests that are home to endangered orangutans and Sumatran tigers to plant these trees. Between 1990 and 2010 an area of forest the size of 2 million football fields was cleared to make way for oil palms. Doug Boucher, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ tropical forest and climate initiative, says palm oil presents uniquely sinister problems because “substantial areas of southeast Asia have very carbon-rich soils, peat soils, with sometimes quite thick deposits of peat."..... These dangers of palm oil have caused companies to seek out substitutes. Scientists at the University of Bath in the UK are developing an oil from a common type of yeast that can grow on almost any feedstock. And the California company Solazyme has begun extracting an oil with similar properties from microalgae. Jill Kauffman Johnson, Solazyme’s Global Sustainability Director, says they prepare the oil in much the way other companies brew beer. “We feed sugar to the algae, and then put that all into a large fermentation tank,” Johnson says. “The algae then convert the sugar into oil, and it allows us to produce large amounts of oil in a matter of days.” Solazyme has a contract to supply the sustainability-minded company Unilever with 3 million gallons of this algae oil for its soaps and toiletries. “We’re also finding in a recent study that we’ve had done that has been third-party reviewed,” says Johnson, “the greenhouse gas emission profile with the algae oil produced at our plant based in Brazil, where  he sugar source is sugarcane, has a lower carbon footprint than that of palm oil and palm kernel oil.” But despite palm oil’s problems and the promising alternatives, Boucher says the crop does have some advantages. “It actually accumulates carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the process of growing. So if you produce it in areas that are not forested, but rather you use already-cleared land, you can actually have a positive benefit from it.”...http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-09-19/yes-palm-oil-destructive-scientists-are-creating-compelling-alternatives

Sustainability: Paying farmers and preserving forests 9/16/2015 -  by Jeff Gelski; Barry Callebaut, Zurich, Switzerland, issued its own sustainability report for 2013/14, which found 60% of cocoa farmers in Cóte d’Ivoire are living below the poverty line. Barry Callebaut pays a premium for “sustainable beans,” which it defines as being produced either according to a certification scheme such as Utz Certified or Rainforest Alliance or to Barry Callebaut’s own Quality Partner Program.  Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, farmers receive a premium by selling Utz, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certified cocoa beans, said Taco Terheijden, sustainable cocoa manager for Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate. Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, $19 million was paid to farmers in Cóte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia in 2014....As of April, 35% of the palm oil sourced by IOI Loders Croklaan was certified by the R.S.P.O. and traceable to the mill and plantation level, according to the company, a palm oil supplier and R.S.P.O. member with a North American office in Channahon, Ill. IOI Loders Croklaan added 96% of the palm oil and 65% of the palm kernel oil that it sources is traceable to the mill level.   Archer Daniels Midland, based in Chicago and an R.S.P.O. member, issued a commitment to no-deforestation this year. The commitment includes no deforestation of high carbon stock or high conservation value areas, no development of peatlands, and no exploitation of people and local communities. .... Bunge has a global palm oil sourcing policy that involves the protection of high conservation value areas, the protection of peat areas, and the prohibition of forced and child labor.   Cargill provided an update on supply chain traceability for the first half of 2015. Cargill has completed 9 of 11 planned supplier field assessments in its palm oil supply chain. The Forest Trust conducted the field assessments. The goal is to achieve 100% traceability to the mill by December of this year and to provide palm oil that is 100% traceable to sustainably managed plantations by 2020....http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Supplier-Innovations/2015/09/Sustainability_Paying_farmers.aspx?ID=%7B035B2B6E-A7D2-46E1-A19F-0415FAC28B71%7D&cck=1

A new business model for palm oil? The recent haze in Southeast Asia has sparked renewed calls for alternatives to palm oil products. In this interview, Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt tells Eco-Business why the industry - which is also provides thousands of livelihoods worldwide - needs a new business model, not boycotts.  By Vaidehi Shah Friday 16 October 2015 http://www.eco-business.com/news/a-new-business-model-for-palm-oil/

Why Sustainable Palm Oil Is Possible by The Nature Conservancy Posted: 10/14/2015 2:36 pm EDT   Updated: 10/14/2015 2:59 pm EDT http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2015/10/14/why-sustainable-palm-oil-is-possible/

Can REDD save Indonesia’s peatlands from burning?   By Chris Lang 14 October 2015  http://www.redd-monitor.org/2015/10/14/can-redd-save-indonesias-peatlands-from-burning/

Hit companies where it hurts by Henry Barlow Oct 1, 2015, 5:58 pm SGT The contributors to the haze appear not primarily to be the larger oil palm plantation operators but relatively small estates, owning perhaps only one or two mills, or independent mills depending largely, if not exclusively, on fruit submitted from smallholders. Many such operators and smallholders have no wish to comply with sustainability principles. Could the Monetary Authority of Singapore instruct banks operating in Singapore not to extend financing and trading facilities to companies linked to mill owners who are not in compliance with agreed sustainability principles as required by the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards? These companies should also be required to provide independently certified reports that they have assisted all mill owners and smallholders submitting fruit to their mills in complying with the sustainability principles of ISPO or RSPO. Other central banks in he region could also adopt similar measures. http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/hit-companies-where-it-hurts


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Singapore moves on "haze-free" products - apart from wood, paper makers, SEC plans to work with others such as palm oil industry

14 October 2015: Singapore moves on "haze-free" supply chain for wood and paper trader and makers. Supermarkets pull products.

Editor's note: APP has been in spotlight, but expects to meet pulp demand without clearing more forest, refer to write-up of independent assessment by TFT on associated Greenpeace approach: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/09/app-can-meet-projected-pulp-demand-without-clearing-more-forest/

Another 20 firms sign 'haze-free' declaration - NTUC FairPrice's staff removing Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)-related products from shelves at the supermarket chain's outlet at Nex mall in Serangoon on Oct 7, 2015.  NTUC FairPrice's staff removing Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)-related products from shelves at the supermarket chain's outlet at Nex mall in Serangoon on Oct 7, 2015. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI  Published Oct 13, 2015, 5:00 am SGT Twenty more firms have declared that their products are free of raw materials from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is under investigation over its connection to the haze. This brings the number of firms that have signed the Singapore Environment Council's (SEC) declaration form to 38. The latest firms to sign are those that sell wood-related products under the SEC's green label scheme. The online declaration form was sent to 210 firms in the wood-related product trade last weekend, said the SEC and the Consumers Association of Singapore in a joint statement yesterday. It was sent to    companies earlier this month, including major supermarket chain FairPrice and APP's exclusive distributor here, Universal Sovereign Trading. The move led several retail chains to pull APP products off their shelves.....SMF secretary-general Lam Joon Khoi told The Straits Times yesterday that the SEC approached the federation two weeks ago with the idea. The appeals were sent out last week and responses are trickling in. He said: "It's not something that we expect them to change overnight, but at least we have started the journey. "We really need to tighten the screws and increase the pressure to encourage firms to buy from more sustainable companies. "Some have said this will increase their costs. But my point to them is that we already pay a high price for the effects of the haze....Last month, the National Environment Agency served APP a legal notice to supply information on its subsidiaries in Singapore and in Indonesia. Six other Indonesian firms have been sent a notice asking them to take measures to  extinguish fires on their land, not to start new ones, and submit action plans on how they will prevent future fires. The sixth firm, PT Bumi Andalas Permai, was sent the notice yesterday..... http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/another-20-firms-sign-haze-free-declaration

More firms on board for 'haze-free' declaration Oct 8, 2015, 5:00 am SGT - Jessica Lim  Consumer Correspondent - Apart from wood, paper makers, SEC plans to work with others such as palm oil industry....There are other complications, said SEC's head of eco-certification Kavickumar Muruganathan. Retailers here typically obtain the rights to sell a product from distributors, which then arrange with overseas manufacturers to import the stock. "Manufacturers might own plantations, but some strike deals with landowners on the side to use their land. Some also ask other suppliers to sell the fruit to them on an ad hoc basis if demand spikes," he said, adding that errant firms pay farmers to use their land for oil palm. On paper, the land is owned by the farmer and the firm is not implicated. There is also no map of land ownership available, making the task of pinpointing the owners of a plantation difficult. However, Nanyang Technological University's Professor Ang Peng Hwa, who co-founded the Haze Elimination Act on Team volunteer group, urged retailers to stop "putting up a smokescreen". "It is true it can be difficult. But retailers have to ask suppliers to show them certification," said Prof Ang. "Consumers also have a role to play to demand higher standards."....


Haze fallout: NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong withdraw all APP paper products - Additionally, Cold Storage says it has suspended further purchase of APP-related products while Watsons Singapore has confirmed that it does not stock such brands as Paseo, Jolly and Nice.   UPDATED: 09 Oct 2015 21:23 http://prrt.co/sa/1?url=http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/haze-fallout-ntuc/2175070.html

Singapore and Malaysia Wheeze as Indonesia Goodwill Hammered by Haze - The strongest El Nino in two decades may prolong the dry weather, meaning the haze could remain for some time yet  by Pooi Koon Chong  October 7, 2015 — 9:53 AM HKT http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-07/singapore-and-malaysia-wheeze-as-indonesia-goodwill-hammered-by-haze

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

At PIPOC 2015 in Kuala Lumpur

Editor's note: We're at PIPOC 6-8 October 2015. Will put up news link and a few shots and notes.

Link to conference website: http://pipoc.mpob.gov.my/index.php

Malaysia looks to maintain palm oil stocks at 2m tonnes: Unggah  6 October 2015 @ 12:46 PM;  KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia hopes to maintain palm oil stocks at about two million tonnes from the 2.49 million tonnes recorded as at end-Sept by implementing replanting incentives and minimising imports. Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the replanting incentives, to be implemented on Oct 1, aims to reduce by 83,000 hectares, the area planed with oil palm and drop production by 250,000 tonnes. “We will also minimise palm oil exports until our stocks reach about two million tonnes. This is a temporary measure and we do not have a timeline for the target. http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/10/malaysia-looks-maintain-palm-oil-stocks-2m-tonnes-unggah

Notes and photos

Minister Uggah Embas talks of implementation target for MSPO by 2020 and harmonisation with Indonesia policy.

Minister Uggah Embas says TPPA will benefit Malaysia palm oil via better access to USA, Canada and other member markets.
Plenary lecture by Carl Bek Nielsen of need to embrace sustainability for sake of the industry. Poor people deserve a right to palm oil development that offers a middle class opportunity. Need to stop the polarising debate and uninformed rhetoric. Cost of inaction now raises cost of action in future. Support RSPO, MSPO, ISPO....

Plenary talk by Dr James Fry of LMC

Information on MSPO