That’s an increase of the equivalent of roughly 36,000 Olympic sized swimming pools of carbon dioxide more per year. Essentially, like other such problems all over the world, the chief problem lies in bad market economics. In: Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society. Jelsma, I., Schoneveld, G. C., Zoomers, A., & van Westen, A. C. M. (2017). Plantations have grown the stuff for decades and it’s an inexpensive food. On a similar note, the working conditions of those in the palm sector have been repeatedly put under ethical scrutiny. And it’s this act of rapidly terraforming forest land into neat rows of oil palms that has led to a backlash against palm oil products. Good economics would incorporate the “external costs” of natural … Their solution was biofuels, chief of which was palm oil. Greenpeace is fighting to stop the sourcing of unethical “dirty palm oil” to protect the homes of indigenous peoples and endangered species. Read on below to find out more about the link between the production of palm oil, how it impacts orangutans - and most importantly what can be done to stop it. The point here is this: Palm oil production is indeed tied to environmentally harmful practices like clear cutting rainforests and draining and burning peatlands. (n.d.). Therefore, the demand for affordable, accessible, and nutrient-rich foods is high, as they are crucial to the well-being of food-insecure populations (Sood, 2010). Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837717304751#! The problem with palm oil is that for various reasons sustainably grown palm oil is almost always more expensive than palm grown on newly agriculturalised forest land. 218. But, as palm oil campaign site Selva Beat says: “the ultimate trick to being able to spot palm-oil derivatives in most things lies in recognising the building blocks”.. Memorising the four words below will help you spot over half of the fatty acid compounds that are often made from palm oil. Nearly 150,000 Bornean Orangutans Lost Since 1999, Cutting Population By Half. That being said, the makeup of the land before conversion varied widely, and as a result, the environmental impacts of this massive land transformation is contextual. Retrieved from https://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/land-use/industrial-agriculture/palm-oil. 1. With 40% of global palm oil being produced by smallholders, our supply chain is complex. It is a type of vegetable oil derived from palm oil fruit. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982218300861, WWF. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/02/orangutan-habitat-loss-hunting-killing-borneo-spd/#close. As a result, simply banning palm oils is not enough. RSPO has launched a webpage to keep members updated on the latest RSPO/COVID-19 news and how this evolving situation may impact your operations. (2016). Amnesty International spoke to 120 workers who work on palm plantations owned by two Wilmar subsidiaries and three Wilmar suppliers in Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia. These islands also happen to be of the most biodiverse habitats in the world and are the only locations on Earth where orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants all live together (Vidal, 2013). Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “The impact of the unsustainably produced palm oil is increasingly becoming part of the public’s consciousness. Palm oil has become the most widely used vegetable oil on Earth. According to a study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Southeast Asian peatlands could disappear by 2030 if the rate of oil palm farming continues. Retrieved from https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil, Yale University Global Forest Atlas. Although the EU’s cars appear to be less emissions-heavy with biofuels in use, the true consequences of their supposed environmentalism lay halfway across the world and razed forests and burned peatlands. As consumers, we need to use our power at the checkout to continue to drive change in the palm oil industry. The combination of these direct and indirect environmental consequences associated with palm production warrant extreme concern, as they pose the risk of sending islands like Borneo and Sumatra into complete regime changes which not only would mean suffering on the part of wildlife but of the people who depend on natural resources to survive (Vidal, 2013). Pushing companies to only buy certified sustainable palm oil is one clear way of doing this. The cheaper option should always be the environmentally better option. (Vidal, 2013). 1, No. If you look closely, palm oil is everywhere. (2013, June 26). Palm Oil Mill Plant Flow Chart Introduction: 1.Palm oil mil process of bunch reception: as palm fruit unloading, cleaning, storage platform during palm oil mill processing, all hydraulic segmented discharge. The Sumatran Rainforest Will Mostly Disappear Within 20 Years. In regard to socio-economic wellbeing, some scientists insist that palm production is the cause of widespread and severe displacement of impacted communities. Palm oil has been a big issue on the sustainability agenda for many years now. by Two Blokes with a Postie. He says, “I have spent all my money on the palm oil farm; I’ve recently planted new trees that will last for the next 25 years and my whole family relies on this. The industry has grown to the point where it has the capacity to single-handedly put entire species on the brink of extinction in just a handful of years (Gibbens, 2018). Palm oil, harvested from the fruit of oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis), is present in an estimated 50% of everyday goods used in the United States alone (WWF, 2020). Despite the benefits associated with palm oil, many activist groups around the world have vocally denounced the entire industry, judging the consequences as too severe to ignore. Because when done right, oil palms can yield the highest amount of oil per acre of land, and if Western countries drastically decrease their demand for palm oil, that could bring a harsh disaster for many now reliant on a Western thirst for the oil. This system thrives by keeping women and children out of school so that they can work without payment in fields in an effort to increase the productivity of their paid-laborer family members (Sinaga, 2013). Palm oil producers, noticing the penchant for biofuels, managed to penetrate the biofuels market mostly in Europe. Koh, L. P., & Wilcove, D. S. (2007). And for that reason, our global consumption of palm oil needs to be minimized or at least driven into a slower, more sustainable model that considers the environmental impacts of land use before tearing apart beneficial forests. There’s definitely some truth to the statement. It also is considered a healthier alternative to hydrogenated oils or animal fats that contain trans fats, associated with heart disease, and increases in unhealthy cholesterol (Shimizu & Desrochers, 2012). The Palm Oil Global Value Chain (Pacheco et al.)6. In an official statement, the World Wildlife Fund argues that rather than boycotting, working from within to establish environmental best practices for oil palm growers is the best way forward. Due to the efficiency of producing palm oil, it also plays an important role in feeding the growing population of our planet. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Global production of and demand for palm oil is increasing rapidly. While palm oil often ends up in products consumed mostly in the US and Europe, the story of palm oil’s environmental devastation lies rooted in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health. What is palm oil? Why palm oil boycotts are not as helpful as they might seem (WWF)5. by Leafcutter, Powered It is my opinion that the negative ramifications associated with palm production are far too dire to go without legal action. Palm oil is certainly not alone in being a widely traded commodity that contributes to tropical deforestation—for example, bananas, beef, cane sugar, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, pineapples, soybeans, tea, and vanilla, to name a few, are all produced in previously forested areas. Palm oil helps to aid in issues of food insecurity and malnourishment by providing an affordable and accessible source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and anti-oxidants (Shimizu & Desrochers, 2012). Palm oil serves many purposes in enhancing the quality of everyday products around the world, both edible and inedible. We’re also committed to working with our suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil to known and certified sources that are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable." by Leafcutter and Powered This controversial ingredient may be present in some form in nearly every room of your home. Click for more information. Once a Dream Fuel, Palm Oil May Be an Eco-Nightmare (New York Times)3. This means that low-income agriculturalist families must spend more money in order to feed themselves and their loved ones, and the result is too often malnourishment and food-insecurity (Sinaga, 2013). Palm Oil Industrial Domestic Consumption by Country in 1000 MT. Additionally, palm oil is one of the most critically important crops for Southeast Asian emerging economies (Koh & Wilcove, 2007). It’s how my kids afford to study.” So while independent small farmers represent only a portion of oil palm production with the rest being owned by much larger corporations, this decision could upend their livelihoods. Retrieved from https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/141283, Department of Statistics, Malaysia Official Report. In this, a substantial amount of rural communities are reliant on palm agriculture for their livelihood, and the boycotting or banning of palm oil would have devastating socio-economic repercussions for the millions of people in Indonesia and Malaysia alone who are employed by the industry, as well as their dependents (Sinaga, 2013). (WWF)4. If that weren’t enough, palm oil is produced using almost exclusively monoculture farming techniques, which are known to cause of a handful of environmental degradation issues such as the damaging of ecosystem resiliency, high levels of pollution, agricultural run-off contaminating waterways and bleaching coral reefs, heightening greenhouse gas levels, and the catalyzing of numerous irreversible feedback loops which exacerbate climate-change issues (Bronk & Wade, 2016). The result was some 5,000 human rights violations, 22 deaths, and hundreds of more injuries (Vidal, 2013). Retrieved from https://www.environmentalleader.com/2017/09/lack-consumer-demand-cost-keep-companies-sustainable-palm-oil-plans/, Nomanbhay et al. As “Palm Oil” or as a hidden ingredient, it’s in everything from snack foods like chips and ice cream to candy and instant noodles. Commodity Intelligence Report INDONESIA: Palm Oil Expansion Unaffected by Forest Moratorium. Palm oil has been determined to be the most efficient crop on Earth and is approximately 4-10 times more resource-efficient than other plant oils such as soy, rapeseed, sunflower, or coconut (Nomanbhay et al., 2017). The Guardian interviewed 66-year-old oil palm farmer, Hussein Mohammad, who decried the EU’s choice to draw down their consumption of palm oil biofuels. The result is children who are physically wasted and stunted, families unqualified to perform higher-paying skilled work, increased gender inequality, and laborers who are prone to disability and/or the chronic health effects of intense labor through developmental stages (Sood, 2010; Sinaga, 2013; Stotts, n.d.). Palm oil is virtually impossible to avoid. The Welsh Government is also considering how it can reduce the use of unethical palm oil in food and drink produced in Wales. ✔️ However, extracting ourselves from this process is a complicated matter that can exact negative consequences on independent growers and wage laborers now dependent on the Southeast Asian palm oil production industry. (2019). Palm oil is an important food in Asia. The Devastating Effects Of The World’s Palm Oil Addiction, Once a Dream Fuel, Palm Oil May Be an Eco-Nightmare. (2019). (2020, January 17). Retrieved from https://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=palm-oil&graph=industrial-domestic-consumption, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. The ubiquity of palm oil has become such a hot button issue that the European Union decided to ban subsidies of palm oil and biofuels by 2020. Environmental and Social Impacts of Oil Palm Plantations and their Implications for Biofuel Production in Indonesia (Obidzinski et al.)7. Through a medley of small land holders and large corporations, rural land has been transformed into an oil palm monocropping factory. Nature, 448(7157), 993-994. By banning or boycotting palm oil, more expensive and less healthy oils may be the only oils still available to the people most in need of nutrient-rich foods, potentially leaving many food-insecure people even more malnourished than before, with an increased need for healthcare services, and with fewer financial resources to access those services. Uncertainty and the dangers of monocultures in regulation, analysis, and practice. RSPO UPDATES ON COVID-19. Approximately 35% of the world’s vegetable oil is provided by palm crops, which occupy only 10% of the world’s vegetable oil farmland (WWF, 2020). In 2019, we sourced our palm oil through 88 suppliers, originating from at least 1624 mills (which can be many tiers upstream in our supply chain) in 24 countries. Through a medley of small land holders and large corporations, rural land has been transformed into an oil palm monocropping factory. Together, the two nations produce approximately 90% of the world’s palm oil (Yale University Global Forest Atlas, n.d.). To start, the widespread monocropping necessary for palm production has resulted in a micro-level food insecurity crisis (Sinaga, 2013). Yet it can often disguise itself with sneaky aliases on ingredient lists. A product as in-demand and versatile as palm oil acts as the source of livelihood for many communities in Southeast Asia, contributing significantly to the GDP of developing economies (Koh & Wilcove, 2007). _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________, Bronk, R., & Wade, J. The environmental impacts of palm oil production, particularly over the last few decades, have been catastrophic. All in all, it is my understanding that food labeling can at least serve as an effective transitional step, educating consumers and increasing public demand for sustainable palm. Another peer review study on oil palm deforestation found that between 1990 and 2010, net carbon dioxide emissions from land use change due to oil palm plantations increased from 92 to 184 teragrams of carbon dioxide per year in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. However, the strictest and most commonly accepted standards for sustainable palm oil are regulated by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and only about 20% of palm oil traded around the world meets these standards, with a demand that doesn’t match the supply (Shanahan, 2019). Retrieved from https://edutoolbox.org/system/files/rasp_file/ELAG910P2Text1Sumatran.pdf, Voigt, M., Wich, S. A., Ancrenaz, M., Meijaard, E., Abram, N., Banes, G. L., … Kühl, H. S. (2018, February 15). Subscribe for fortnightly guides to ethical living and news on the best new ethical brands . Witzenhausen : University of Kassel, Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture. In developing communities, there are higher rates of food insecurity and malnourishment, leading to socio-economic issues related to poor health such as lower school attendance rates or higher inequality rates (Sood, 2010). “Official figures show more than half of Indonesia’s rainforest, the third-largest swath in the world, has been felled in a few years and permission has been granted to convert up to 70% of what remains into palm or acacia plantations” (Vidal, 2013), suggesting that this problem is on-track to worsen. 8 things to know about palm oil. Reines und frisches Palmöl hat einen spezifischen Veilchengeruch, einen süßlichen, angenehmen Geschmack und ist vo… However, this hypothetical solution is founded on a lack of understanding of the efficiency of palm production compared to alternative oils and is based on the assumption that palm production is comparatively inefficient. Indofood’s new toothless palm oil policy is a perfect opportunity to remind Nestlé of its own commitments. To get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean or coconut oil you would need anything between 4 and 10 times more land, which would just shift the problem to other parts of the world and … Plantation workers and local people can rarely grow food crops under monocropping conditions, making it impossible for them to rely on sustenance farming or be food-independent and forcing them instead to shop at supermarkets (Sinaga, 2013). Much of this sustainable oil never even receives its certification label, and some still criticize RSPO’s requirements for being weak or enabling companies to greenwash unsustainable products (Shanahan, 2019). While this is a step forward in slowing the boom of slash-and-burn oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia, it also means a strong blow to small holder farmers relying on the expanding palm oil industry. Instead, it must be revolutionized towards sustainability. Over 50 percent of processed goods contain unsustainable palm oil, including, healthy, vegan and organic products — it’s in nearly everything, from … Orangutan numbers are in precipitous decline, only 250–400 tigers remain and fewer than 100 rhinos are left in the forests” (Vidal, 2013). ❌, Ironically, one of the main drivers of this rampant proliferation of oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia is the desire for sustainable biofuels in Europe, or rather, it was until very recently. It’s even found in household items like soaps and lotions, toothpaste and shampoo. Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/57a08b09ed915d3cfd000abe/PTA25.pdf, Stotts, R. (n.d.) Lecture: Agricultural Production Globally [PowerPoint Presentation]. Palm oil is one of the categories on which we base our company and product ratings, and from unsustainable deforestation to animal rights to human exploitation, the palm oil industry seems to be a mess. How palm oil ban has made the EU a dirty word in Malaysia (The Guardian) 8. Palm oil is an incredibly efficient crop, producing more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? Not only is the loss of rainforest a problem due to the subsequent loss of the ability to sequester large amounts of carbon, but it also means the destruction of rich biodiverse habitats, and often the easiest and cheapest way to ready large swaths of forest for production is through burning. Children as young as eight doing … Cashing in palm oil for conservation. Another alternative solution might be to pass legislation incrementally banning the importation of unsustainably produced palm (as opposed to banning the production), incentivizing farmers around the world to meet RSPO’s guidelines while disincentivizing unsustainable practices. Die Früchte werden sterilisiert und gepresst, dabei entsteht das rohe Palmöl, CPO (Crude Palm Oil). 69). Even permanent employees are often seriously underpaid, making less than a dollar per day of intensive labor (Sinaga, 2013). Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) is not a political organization and does not endorse or sponsor activities that attack or condemn individuals, organizations or governments. Suffering on the part of at-risk wildlife would not be prevented, but instead exacerbated per unit in sensitive ecological regions such as the Amazon or The Congo. Retrieved from https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/cthemeByCat&cat=72&bul_id=SEUxMEE3VFdBcDJhdUhPZVUxa2pKdz09&menu_id=Z0VTZGU1UHBUT1VJMFlpaXRRR0xpdz09, Gibbens, S. (2018, February 15). Palm oil is said to be found in 50% of supermarket products, from food to household cleaners to cosmetics.. (2017, October 31). Between 1999 and 2015, half of the already-critical population of Orangutans was wiped out as a direct result of palm oil farming; this equals around 150,000 orangutan lives, and the tragic specicide brought the species to the point of critical endangerment with the destruction of their habitat (Voigt et al., 2018). Palmöl (auch: Palmfett) wird aus dem Fruchtfleisch der Palmfrüchte gewonnen. It offers a far greater yield at a lower cost of production than other vegetable oils. Among the top countries in the world for palm oil consumption are Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and the Philippines, all of which are considered to be developing nations according to the UN Human Development Report (2019). Large palm oil companies that have promised to act ethically have been accused of land grabbing, ignoring human rights and exploiting … Watch Queue Queue Approximately 35% of the world’s vegetable oil is provided by palm crops, which occupy only 10% of the world’s vegetable oil farmland (WWF, 2020). However, the ethics behind this mass-consumption have been questioned in recent years as the production of palm has played an increasingly dominant role in the deforestation of Southeast Asian rainforests, and consequent severe losses in biodiversity (Koh & Wilcove, 2007). Indigenous tribes deep in the Sumatran jungle have been kicked off their land by plantation owners and live a meager existence on the outskirts of society. What Are the Best Ethical Alternatives to Medium. ☁️, This destructive process has led to a sharp decline of peatlands in Indonesia and Malaysia. Retrieved from http://hdr.undp.org/en/data, USDA. © 2019 ethical.net | operated by Centre for Applied Ethics Ltd. | 18 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL, London, UK   |. Each unit of oil would require more land to be deforested, more chemicals to be used, more water spent, and more innocent wildlife to be harmed or killed in the process. 2 (2013), S. 64-78, Sood, N. (2010). In a sense, the EU’s flip-flopping on palm oil has manufactured a boom and bust process for smaller farmers who’ve invested their future in palm oil plantations. If Nestlé takes a clear stand against Indofood, PepsiCo could join, leaving Indofood cornered and forced to change its destructive and abusive ways. According to one analysis, from 1990 to 2010, 9.6 million hectares of land were converted to industrial oil palm farms in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. (2019, November 29). Palm oil is found in roughly 50 per cent of all packaged products on supermarket shelves including shampoos, baking oil, chocolate, cosmetics, chips, cookies, margarine and soaps.. One might argue that the prevalence of palm oil in the diets of impoverished people around the world helps to lower overall healthcare costs for families who otherwise might be at a higher risk of heart diseases or cholesterol issues. Palm Oil. (2013, May 26). As the primary consumers of this oil, Europe in the United States have driven the demand for, and ultimately the reckless piece of palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. Some would argue that the production of palm has too negative an impact on the environment to be considered ethical and therefore should be banned outright by governments. 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