A family-owned Leeds business is poised to sign deals with the country's biggest supermarkets potentially worth millions after it became the world's first certified supplier of soap bases using sustainable palm oil.

Stephenson Group plans to cash in on the multiples' pledges to switch to sustainable palm oil in response to environmental concerns. The company wants to provide the supermarkets with sustainable soap bases after signing a supply deal with New Britain Oils, owner of the UK's first dedicated sustainable palm oil refinery in Liverpool.

"We're in advanced discussions with the major UK multiples and some of the world's leading brands about the switch to sustainable palm oil," said Stephenson's sales rep Chris Holmes. "It's a matter of finalising technical factors with the base, such as colouring, fragrance, or marketing aspects such as packaging alterations."

In August, Stephenson became the first personal care company to gain accreditation from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, comprising oil producers, manufacturers, retailers and environmentalists. The RSPO finalised its standards for certification last year.