NEWQUAY BUSINESSES SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL
Dan Trotter runs 2 businesses in Cornwall, a boutique hotel and restaurant on the clifftops in Newquay, The Lewinnick and The Plume of Feathers, a dining pub and hotel just nearby. He serves hundreds of customers every week, and that means he needs large amounts of food, cleaning and housekeeping products.
As a local business owner, Dan sees he has an important role, not only in looking after his customers, but also in looking after the planet, and wherever he has control and influence, he wants to make sure he uses that to protect the planet.
“I have three children and we are bringing them up to respect the environment. I believe this approach should feed through into my business too.”
So Dan has decided to make sure that any products his business uses use sustainable palm oil. That means food, soaps, shampoos, cleaning products all need to be checked for whether they use sustainable palm oil or not.
“It breaks your heart to see what is happening to the rainforests and I want to take responsibility for the products we use, to make sure they are not linked to deforestation for palm oil.”
Dan has teamed up with Newquay Supports Sustainable Palm Oil and is one of the first businesses to work with the group, to get rid of unsustainable palm oil across his businesses.
How did he do it?
Dan’s business splits into three areas, so he tackled each area one by one.
For the hotel part of the business, the housekeeping team use cleaning products, hand soaps and shampoos. Dan checked with his supplier West Chem and they have a palm free policy. This meant he could be confident that none of the cleaning products they were using contained palm oil derivatives which could be using unsustainable palm oil.
For the kitchen, Dan’s team went through product by product. Where necessary, they checked with suppliers, for example for bakery goods. Alternatively they checked the labelling. Dan says, “If we can’t find a sustainable palm oil option we may stop using the product. We did this with ice cream wafers.”
In terms of the front of house part of the business, the main issues here are cleaning chemicals, which West Chem provide to him. The teams use locally handmade toiletries for the rooms from Cornwall Soap Box who don’t use palm oil at all in their products.
“We are very fortunate that our suppliers are often like-minded and it often only takes one or two people within a company to drive change. We also find that when we ask questions of our suppliers about environmental issues, this can also encourage them to change too.”
As a result of Dans work, The Plume of Feathers, based in Mitchell is now sustainable palm oil only and the Lewinnick in Newquay will likely reach his target of Sustainable palm only in the next few months.
Dan is delighted, “I’m very happy that we are almost there, and looking forward to letting all the staff and customers know.”
You can check supermarket products that you buy for sustainable palm oil on the Giki app – just scan the barcode, or search, and look for the green sustainable palm oil badge. This badge will be greyed out if we can’t verify palm oil used is sustainable.