Our worldwide demand for vegetable oils is increasing annually – per year we now require an additional 2 to 3 million tonnes of edible oils, to meet our increasing populations. Palm Oil has now become the world’s most commonly produced and internationally traded edible vegetable oil. The issue on many people’s minds however is do we have enough land available to plant more oil palms in a sustainable manner, to meet our ever increasing demand for palm oil.
Between 1980 and 2007 palm oil production has increased by eight-times. Indonesia and Malaysia have increased their production since the 80’s, of all of our four major oils including palm oil, in an effort to try and meet the growing demands. The issue is that Malaysia is rapidly running out of land, which leads our focus to switch onto Indonesia to continue to increase production. Within the next 10 years Malaysia have been able to put aside 5m hectares for new palm plantations. Indonesia however have been able to set aside around 23m hectares specifically just for palm oil production.
In the near future we expect to see a growth in palm oil productivity in both Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysia is expected to only see a small amount of growth of around 23 million tonnes by 2020, however Indonesia is expected to reach an impressive 41 million tonnes by 2020. With the ability to harvest palm oil all year-round, the only worry for production is the weather conditions. Recently we’ve seen flooding in various parts of Asia, which can potentially lead to issues with palm oil production. What’s important however is that all new palm oil plantations continue to product palm oil in a sustainable manner.
If you’d like to know more about palm oil please visit – http://www.greenpalm.org