A worker unloads palm oil fruit bunches from a lorry inside a palm oil mill in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/File Photo

Ferrero has topped the WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, which evaluates global companies for their support of sustainable palm oil.

The Italian confectionery giant led the list of 173 food manufacturers and retailers with a score of 21.5 out of 22.

“Only one company, the consumer goods manufacturer Ferrero, has scored over 20 points (out of the maximum 22), sending an encouraging signal to the rest of the industry that sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil is achievable,” the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in a statement.

Marks and Spencer is at the sixth position in the list, with a score of 18.8, and Co-op at ninth with 18 points.

Aldi South, the German parent company of Aldi UK, is at the seventh position.

Ferrero said the excellent result in the Scorecard is a “very important recognition” of it efforts in sustainable palm oil.

“We very much appreciate that our efforts are being recognized by WWF, who is a very important stakeholder in driving the sustainability of the whole palm oil sector,” the company said in a statement.