We effed up.

We effed up. We’re sorry.

On Friday, February 5th we were made aware that some of our products may contain traces of Palm Oil. 

Like many others, we believed that the ingredients used in our products were Palm Oil free and sourced from coconut oil - including derivatives. After consulting with independent experts, we have discovered that this is not always the case. 

We had put our faith in trusted Australian specialists in our supply chain. However, this recent discovery has uncovered the difficult truth -  that unknowingly, the coconut derived ingredients which we were led to believe to be palm free, do in fact contain Palm Oil.  This has made us feel that we have not been fully transparent with you, our valued customers and community. 

As a team, we are completely devastated that we weren't aware of that hard truth, and many tears have been shed. We feel angry, betrayed, frustrated and sad.

We are acutely aware that Palm Oil has been, and continues to be, a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests along the equator belt, and in turn, responsible for the pending extinction of the critically endangered species who rely on these forests for survival. We are fully committed to further educating ourselves on this problem, and to demanding more action to tackle this global issue. 

We are also learning that Palm Oil derived ingredients are mixed with an uncertified supply and cannot be traced back to plantation, making it impossible to know where the Palm Oil is coming from and if it is contributing to deforestation.  

Everyday we show up wanting and working to do the right thing - always, and in all ways. Through this turmoil, at no point did any one of us think that we shouldn’t share what we are going through. Doing the right thing is hard, but we welcome this difficult time with open arms as we walk together through this new reality. After all, we must do what is right, not what is easy. 

When we launched our Bar range, it was all centered around our tagline of “Raise The Bar”. It’s with this exact sentiment that we’re holding ourselves accountable. We are raising the bar on ourselves, and also urging others to follow suit. We hope that by using our platform (and profits) as an agent of change, we can make significant strides towards a better future for all people & the planet. 

What specific products this effects

  • Shampoo Bar - Rose Geranium
  • Shampoo Bar - Citrus & Mint 
  • Conditioner Bar
  • Face Bar
  • Exfoliate Bar
  • Sunscreen - Un-tinted
  • Sunscreen - Tinted

So, what now? 

It’s been 10 days since we found all of this out, here is what we are doing:

We have made a $50,000 donation to the Orangutan Alliancean independent, non-profit organisation and registered charity and palm oil free certification body that provides support for reforestation, orangutan rescue, and other meaningful projects that counteract the devastation caused by the Palm Oil Industry as well as promote development of alternative ingredients . We are also working with Orangutan Alliance Palm Oil Free Certification to get our reformulated products certified.

We will continue to sell the affected products so as to not make unnecessary waste.  

Effective immediately, we will be donating 10% of all profits to International Animal Rescue Indonesia (IAR), who support land protection and restoration, and promote better land use planning practices.

We are working closely with Palm Oil Investigations to support us on our journey and to deepen our understanding of this issue. POI is a voluntary organisation working to bring awareness to the Palm Oil Industry and offers assistance to brands on checks as well as guidance and consulting on Palm Oil free sourcing and supply chains.  

We are currently conducting a company wide health check on all our manufacturers and partners.

We believe that we are nothing without transparency, a core pillar within Seed & Sprout. We will continue to update our community as we learn more, as this is all happening in real time. We are committed to always being open and honest with you, to have the hard conversations, to leave no stone unturned, and to continue to educate ourselves and others whilst we ignite change on what is an issue of global concern.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. 

Statement from Palm Oil Investigations (POI) regarding our recent discovery

"Unfortunately this issue which has occurred with Seed & Sprout is not uncommon and other brands need to take note and step up. 

POI estimates that at least 80% of brands making palm free claims on their hair care and cleaning product ranges, are in fact using Palm Oil derived ingredients. Coconut derived does not necessarily mean Palm Oil free. 

Brands should never place blind faith in what they are being told regarding ingredients used. Palm Oil free claims should never be placed on products, marketing material and communication with consumers until they have fully traced ingredients right back to the source, being the actual manufacturer of the ingredient (not the formulating chemist, ingredient distributor or product manufacturer). Manufacturers, formulators and ingredient distributors need to be held accountable for misleading information supplied to brands. Always obtain Palm Oil free guaranteed documentation in writing. We thank Seed & Sprout for their honesty and transparency".

To continue the conversation, please feel free to email us at: forum@seedandsprout.com

Have questions? See if we cover them here:

This is so sad, I love your Shampoo bars! What will the new bars be like? Are they going to work as well? What's the plan?

We feel your sadness, we feel the same way. We love our shampoo bars too. We are still in the process of figuring out what our next steps look like and who we partner with going forward.

How much palm oil derivatives are included in your bars?

Unfortunately, with our bars we don’t have a definitive percentage that we can supply at this point in time.

How much palm oil derivatives are included in your sunscreens?

We now know that our sunscreens contain approximately 10% Palm Oil derivative, which we have the RSPO certification for. We also now know that Palm Oil derived ingredients are mixed with an uncertified supply and cannot be traced back to plantation, making it impossible to know where the Palm Oil is coming from and how much of it is contributing to deforestation.

Are you sure all your other products that you claim are palm-free are definitely palm free? I’m talking about the Lip Balm, Dry Shampoo & Deodorants

Yes, we have checked these with suppliers and we are also having these independently audited.

What does Certified RSPO Palm Oil mean?

It is Palm Oil that is certified according to the  Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which complies to a specific criteria. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil.

More information here: https://rspo.org/about

How do you know that the palm oil derivatives that are included are actually certified?

We are learning that Palm Oil derived ingredients are mixed with an uncertified supply and cannot be traced back to plantation, making it impossible to know where the Palm Oil derivatives are coming from and if it is contributing to deforestation.

Was this because you used imported ingredients?

Many ingredients used in manufacturing are imported from overseas where the plants and flowers grow naturally. This issue isn’t specifically due to the ingredients being imported.

What should I do with the bars that I've got?

We would recommend using up any product until it's finished to avoid any waste. If you do not wish to use these products any more get in contact with us.

How can I learn more about Palm Oil?

Palm Oil investigations has some great information:  https://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/about-palm-oil.html

Now I’m second-guessing all of the products that are in my house, how can I find the other names for palm oil derived ingredients?