The UK Intellectual Property Office has approved the Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme (POFCAP), allowing it to officially certify UK products and food services as being palm oil free.

POFCAP is the world’s first international palm oil free accreditation programme that certifies products, allowing products to carry its Certification Trademark logo, POFCAP said in a 28 May press release.

Along with the UK, Austria, Spain, Sweden and the USA had also approved the programme and approval in nine further countries was pending, said POFCAP.

POFCAP was launched in Australia in August 2017 as an independent certification programme for palm oil free products.

“While some companies have for some time made their own palm oil free claims, until now there has not been an independent, international, government approved certification programme,” said POFCAP co-founder Bev Luff.

“Our goal is that, one day, our Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark will be as recognised as other major international certification trademarks, such as Fair Trade or Gluten Free.”

Together with the governmental approval, POFCAP also announced it had also handed out the first UK Palm Oil Free certification to York-based vegan restaurant El Piano.

“This international certification is the cornerstone to building trust with our customers while creating transparency about each and every ingredient in our award winning food,” said El Piano founder Magdalena Chávez.