Case studies


Retailer achieves 99% response rate for palm oil survey in under four weeks

Palm oil use in food and non-food products is continuously monitored by global activist groups and by governments, with some taking legal action against irresponsible producers using unsustainable sources. Consumers are also increasingly demanding ethical sourcing of palm oil.

To understand the volume and usage of palm oil and palm oil derivatives in its private label products, this leading retailer would survey suppliers using a labour-intensive manual process involving multiple emails and spreadsheets,  chasing and reporting. S4RB were approached to help the retailer make this process more efficient and accurate and ultimately increase response rate.


Following on from its global commitment on palm oil ingredients in a wide variety of food and non-food products, this retailer was aiming to confirm that suppliers were using responsible and sustainable plantations of palm oil and palm oil derivatives with no adverse effects on the environment and local communities. Acquiring this data was time-dependent due to legislative requirements. The retailer required a ‘turn-key’ solution to collect product level information on palm oil use in a simple and auditable report.


Using S4RB’s Affinity™ Engage platform, the campaign was able to ensure suppliers were reading and reacting to the communications about palm oil. Relevant, engaging supporting material and targeted information was shared to increase understanding of what the supplier needed to do and why. Self-help functionality reduced the need for queries, saving the retailer time and resource. For example, suppliers were able to look up the definition of all the 25+ components and derivatives of palm oil.

The solution pre-populated existing information such as the product list (names and UPC) in question, speeding up the process for the supplier by minimising data entry which in turn increased accuracy. The retailer had full transparency over the information collected and access to real-time reporting via visual management dashboards which showed progress of the campaign and highlighted which suppliers were yet to respond.


Product data was collected for over 2,500 products in just under four weeks. The exercise also identified missing product data for over 1,000 products. This were added, resulting in a highly accurate report on the number of products containing palm oil or a derivative. This was the retailer’s highest palm oil survey response rate to date.

The retailer was able to risk assess the impact on its global commitment to using sustainable palm oil and take the necessary action to ensure compliance by the deadline.


Key facts 

- 2,500+ private label products

- 250+ suppliers

- 98% of product data captured in 4 weeks

- 99% response rate in under 4 weeks


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Team S4RB

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