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Karlshamns responds to environmental fears


Swedish manufacturer of speciality vegetable fats Karlshamns has clarified its position on the ongoing issue that suggests the production of soybean and palm oil in Brazil and South East Asia is destroying valuable natural environments.

Karlshamns, following a Swedish Television programme this week entitled Maten som skövlar, stated that the company is actively contributing towards sustainable improvements in the area of cultivation of oil palms.

Reports published by WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) and SNF (the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) show that, in certain cases, the cultivation of oil palms contribute to the destruction of valuable tropical rain forests. Karlshamns stressed that its ambition is to rely only on suppliers who refrain from utilising high conservation value rain forests to expand production, and the company therefore buys all palm oil - necessary for the production of trans-free fats - from a limited number of carefully selected suppliers in western Malaysia.

"Our aim is a sustainable development of quality and production in co-operation with selected suppliers and authorities, with a view to minimising the environmental load.

"We are convinced that the countries in question stand to profit from a long-term attitude to these issues," said Bo Svensson, Karlshamns CIO.

According to a statement, the company always monitors palm oil production closely, partly by paying regular visits to regional suppliers and partly by extending its co-operation with trade associations.

Plans are underway for a meeting with international market actors in Malaysia, in the spring of 2003. The aim of the meeting is to intensify the work to formulate and spread the demands to be made on palm oil suppliers.

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