In May 2010, New Britain Oils commissioned a refining facility on a six-acre site in Bootle, Liverpool with a capacity to process around 150,000mt of sustainable palm oil. Just eight months after the first trucks of oil were being loaded, the Company has decided on an additional £9 million investment programme that will create the world’s first bakery fats and foodservice packaging facility able to service the UK and Irish markets with sustainable palm based products. These will include simple boxed palm products through to more sophisticated and complex industrial margarines for the pastry, cakes and bread sectors.

So who are New Britain and what is meant by “sustainable” palm oil? New Britain Oils is the UK arm of New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL), the largest fully integrated plantation company outside Malaysia or Indonesia with a world class reputation for having a responsible and sustainable approach to palm oil production. Part of that stems from the fact that they have some of the world’s highest yielding plantations in the world thanks to their Dami seed breeding business. Uniquely, they also have total control over their entire supply chain, from research and development of their elite breeding material for seed production, through to planting, harvesting, processing, logistics and now finally contracting with a whole range of end customers for a broad range of sustainable palm based ingredients.


New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL)

NBPOL, a large-scale industrial producer of sustainable palm oil in Papua New Guinea and The Solomon Islands has over 75,000 hectares of mature palm oil plantations, 10 oil mills, two refineries and a seed production and plant breeding facility. The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has a history of “firsts” with respect to its sustainability credentials. In particular, they were the first company to include more than 7,000 smallholders within the scope of their RSPO sustainability certification. This means that around 30% of the sustainable palm oil being sold from the Liverpool refinery right now has been produced from fruit grown by those certified smallholders, and their customers know this because New Britain were the first company to have their supply chain independently verified by BM Trada.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The Roundtable’s organisation was originally based on an informal cooperation between a number of businesses involved in the palm oil industry and NGO’s such as the WWF. The RSPO is now a

multi-stakeholder organisation aiming to promote both the production and use of sustainable palm oil around the world. Most European retailers and a great many manufacturers in the food and personal care sectors now have active policies in place to only use sustainable palm oil from a certain point of time in the future; the most common target being 2015.


New Britain Oils Ltd (NBOL)

NBPOL, via its UK division NBOL, is trying to pave the way for companies using palm oil based ingredients to achieve these targets on time and even, in many cases, beat that 2015 deadline. This latest investment in Liverpool is very much part of that strategy.

“We’ve been offering bulk oils and blends based on sustainable palm and palm kernel for around a year already,” says Andy Worrall, General Manager at NBOL, “and we’ve witnessed strong month on month growth in demand for those grades. We recognised early on that the need to source palm oil responsibly was becoming a real issue for the UK food and personal care sector. It was only natural, therefore, that we started to look immediately at which market sectors next needed to get access to sustainable palm oils. The answer to us was the bakery sector which represents a large part of the UK’s palm oil consumption.”

He added that “because of our integrated structure with no middlemen involved in our supply chain and our own downstream refining capability, NBOL is able to offer an unparalleled range of competitively priced palm oil grades and palm based ingredients from now on.”

?When the refinery opened in 2010, Andy revealed some of the pride that both he and the company have in this new operation. “This new refinery is a real milestone for the palm oil industry. For years, one of the major problems in making sustainable palm oil more mainstream has been to get fully traceable and sustainable palm oil and palm oil derivatives at affordable and competitive prices. This has and continues to be a major hurdle for the food industry. Along with other companies on the continent, we like to think that we are changing all that.”

He continued, “What we are offering is the full provenance. We can show how it is produced, where it is produced, how it really impacts the local community and provide complete traceability from seed to finished product. We have taken up the challenge head on and are now meeting it across more market sectors. The company has invested heavily in this traceable and low cost supply chain as well as the new refinery and bakery plant here in Liverpool. With no middlemen involved and world class shipping economics from half way around the world, we are continuously able to demonstrate to our customers that we have the costs right, the provenance right and now, an even broader range of product availability.”

£9 Million Investment Programme

The new NBOL facility will enable the company to provide sustainable palm based blends to manufacturers of bread, cakes and pastry products. In addition, the company will be able to access the UK foodservice market which uses large amounts of boxed palm oil for frying in quick service restaurants. Andy says, “We are delighted that just a few months after the first phase was commissioned we will be able to offer a whole new range of products to even more customers. For some time, the industry has been looking for sustainable palm based bakery products and we’ve proven that by working with companies like Cardowan Creameries in Scotland, there is a real demand for this from the bakery sector. Others in the market have said that it can’t be done and that fully sustainable palm ingredients won’t be available for years; or only a small percentage of the palm oil in their products will be sustainable. Well all the palm oil and palm oil derivatives in our products will be sustainable and we know we can make them available at competitive prices. So those companies who are serious about using sustainable palm in their bakery fats should be talking to us now.”

The plant is in the process of being built with most of the major processing equipment being installed during summer. Completion is expected for the very end of 2011 ready for product trials to be done during the first quarter of 2012.

NBOL currently supplies products to the UK, Ireland, and even France, with:

Refined Bleached & Deodorised Palm Oil, palm olein, palm stearin and palm kernel, and Palm Fatty Acid Distillate – mainly used for the animal feed and soap products

At the time of the opening of the refinery in Bootle, Nick Thomson, CEO of NBPOL commented, “The establishment of the Company’s own integrated palm oil processing facility in the UK will strengthen New Britain Palm Oil’s position at the higher value-added end of the supply chain and put us closer to our key customers in the UK and wider EU. The UK facility will also ensure that NBPOL will be the first palm oil producers to offer customers fully traceable, sustainable, ethically produced palm oil product. We believe that our dedicated supply chain should ensure that NBPOL will be able to supply palm oil that is traceable from “palm to plate”, giving manufacturers and consumers total confidence in their product.”

The construction of the new packaging facility can only serve to further strengthen this position.

For further information please telephone 0151 922 4875 or visit



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