"We need a better understanding of the entire supply chain"
Mr. Pesnjak, you say that a "greener" raw material does not automatically make a product more sustainable. But haven't many efforts in the field of oleochemicals for years been precisely about finding alternatives, first for petrochemical raw materials, then for palm oil?
Yes, sure. But if you really want to act sustainably, you have to look closely. The "evergreen" palm oil is the best example: Consumers know that the great global demand has led to rainforest clearings and the loss of habitats of endangered animals. Many do not want to support this and ask for palm-free products, e.g. based on coconut oil. Companies then adapt to this with their formulations.
Do you think this is wrong? CREMER OLEO has plenty of palm alternatives on offer, such as coconut or rapeseed.
These are all good alternatives - they just don't automatically make a final product more sustainable. Palm plants are very productive: If we were to simply replace our entire palm oil requirement with another vegetable oil, the amount of land needed for cultivation would multiply. The consequences for the environment would be dramatic. Sustainability can therefore also mean consciously sticking to raw materials and thinking about alternatives on the same level.
If we want to become more sustainable, we need more understanding of the overall processes.
What exactly do you mean by that?
If we want to become more sustainable, we all need more understanding of the overall processes and better consumer education. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the one-size-fits-all, simple path that many are striving for. In addition, sustainability is a very large term and is interpreted and understood differently by everyone. For one person it is alternative raw materials, for another it is organic quality, the third demands certification and the fourth considers it to be the avoidance of a certain product.
Where are the main focuses of CREMER OLEO, where can you support?
CREMER OLEO tries to reflect exactly this diversity and to have or develop solutions for the most diverse approaches. For many products we have alternative raw materials as well as comprehensive certifications or access to organic qualities. We are an independent trading house and can therefore act very flexibly on the world markets and look for the best individual solutions with our customers.
Do you have an example of this?
Organic qualities have played a major role for us for years in the area of soap raw materials, for example, and are already established. Today, these partnerships also give us access to organic fatty acids. However, we have not yet been able to make a real footprint in this area due to a lack of larger pilot projects. This is exactly where we are currently focusing our efforts. Our invitation: Talk to us about your sustainability strategy and let's rethink together and not just replace a raw material.
Business Manager Oleochemicals at CREMER OLEO: Andreas Pesnjak
Andreas Pesnjak is Business Manager at CREMER OLEO and responsible for fatty acids, esters and fatty alcohols. He is also your expert if you have general questions about our raw materials for the food industry.
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