New Britain Oils, the UK’s leading producer of sustainable palm oil products, announced today that it has increased its bakery fats production capability by 30 per cent in order to meet the substantial increase in demand for segregated, traceable palm-based products.
The Liverpool-based producer opened the doors of Europe’s first, fully dedicated Palm Oil refinery just 5 years ago. In that short time the company has invested more than £40m in the Liverpool site and now employs over 70 staff.
New Britain Oils distributes a range of frying oils and bakery fats, as well as bulk products for industrial use in the food and personal care sectors. Its boasts a customer base which includes many of the UK’s leading food manufacturers.
Now established as the UK’s most flexible, competitive and forward-thinking bakery fat supplier, New Britain Oils has seen the demand for its bakery fats increase by 50 per cent year on year since opening.
The company has attributed the upsurge in demand for products containing segregated, certified, sustainable palm to changes to European Union (EU) food labelling laws and to major UK retailers striving to meet their 2015 sustainability targets.
Changes to EU food labelling laws introduced in December 2014 requires that oils be declared by name rather than under the generic term vegetable oil as was the case previously. With consumers becoming increasing aware and concerned about the food products they buy, it is important that they are able to identify ingredients and to know that they are traceable back to sustainable sources.
Major retailers including Sainsburys, which recently announced that 95 per cent of the palm oil used in its own-label products now comes from certified sustainable sources, are making pledges and commitments to consumers about their palm oil usage. Following well publicised food fraud incidents including the horsemeat scandal in 2013, consumers are also more aware than ever of the issue of traceability throughout the food supply chain.
New Britain Oils general manager Adam Thomas, attributes these as being major factors in the business recent growth:
There’s no doubt that demand from retailers and consumers for products containing certified sustainable Palm Oil has been a major contributor to our business growth. This is no more so than in the bakery sector where we have seen the biggest growth in demand over the past 12 months.
We are also seeing an increased emphasis on traceability and supply chain security which comes as a result of the 2013 horsemeat scandal. We believe it is important for manufacturers to know where their ingredients come from and, more importantly, that these have been produced responsibly and not at the expense of the environment, which is a concern many people have about palm oil.
All of our palm comes from our own plantations and neighbouring smallholders in Papua New Guinea and is transported directly to our refinery in Liverpool. This means that we can offer customers absolute traceability as well as reassurance that the palm in our products has been produced to the highest standards and not at the expense of tropical rainforests.
The refinery has been working 24/7 since production started back in 2010, however New Britain Oils has recently moved its packing operations to 24/7 to meet the growth in demand. A further five production technicians have been hired by the firm and its technical and quality support teams have also been strengthened.
Adam continues: We are very pleased with the way the business has grown and evolved over the last five years and it is particularly pleasing to know this comes on the back of an increased demand for sustainable palm oil, which is very much at the heart of our business.
We are also acutely aware that provenance, quality and technical support are vitally important to our customers and that’s why we have spent a great deal of time and effort recruiting people with the right industry knowledge and experience both for our back of house and field based teams. As any good business will know, you are only as good as the service you provide to your customers.
New Britain Oils offers a full and comprehensive range of bakery products including reduced fat, reduced saturate, low salt and clean label options.