Tag Archives: palm oil products

European Commission approves sustainable palm oil scheme

Last week news was published that the European Commission has approved a scheme from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil which will allow palm oil producers licensed by the RSPO to qualify for subsidies.

This decision has been met with controversy from a range of individuals including Robbie Blake, biofuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe. Robbie said “Palm oil is driving deforestation, wildlife loss, community conflicts, and accelerating climate change. Instead of greenwashing palm oil, the EU should outright ban its use as a biofuel.”

What do you all think of the European Commission’s decision? Personally we think it’s a great step forward to acknowledge the potential of sustainably produced palm oil. Although many forms of palm oil production can be incredibly damaging to the environment, we feel that sustainable palm oil production is solution. There is such a vast range of palm oil products on the market now that production of the oil is incredibly important. Not only that but many countries economies are so dependent on the commodity.

Pushing sustainable palm oil forward is essential if we want to continue producing the oil. Let us know in the comments below what you think about the announcement. Do you feel that it’s a wrong move? Do you think the correct solution lies elsewhere? We want to hear your feedback!



Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Palm Oil for China

The RSPO put up an interesting case study recently into the prospects and challenges of sustainable palm oil for China. Although we’ve been quiet here on the ‘What is Palm Oil’ blog for the past couple of months, we’re back to discuss this interesting topic.

The Chinese Government actually has a strategy in place to develop a ‘Harmonious Society’ by 2020 – this will be focused on human progress, social civilization and sustainable development. As China are one of the world’s top importers of palm oil they could potentially be very influential when it comes to sustainable development.

The RSPO have outlined principles and criteria for sustainability into a certification system. This certification system is then being rolled-out throughout the world. Europe has currently shown the largest uptake and interest from both producers and from the demand side interestingly enough.

Palm oil is not only the most widely traded vegetable oil in the world, but has also recently become the first greatest import variety of vegetable oil for China. In the past 2 years China’s average volume of palm oil imported has hit over 6 million tons! This large increase in imports means that China will have a significant influence over palm oil producers.

RSPO’s study goes into multiple different policy options for the promotion of sustainable palm oil in China. However we feel the most important one is the establishment of a national policy objective for sustainable palm oil. This would be a national policy set by the Chinese Government stating that China should only import and use any palm oil which has been produced in a sustainable manner. These sustainable palm oil production methods will obviously have to meet the internationally recognised standards mentioned above. This policy would put huge pressure on the producers to only produce the palm oil sustainably, therefore increasing the amount of sustainably produced palm oil worldwide.

What kind of policy changes do you think China should adopt to promote sustainable palm oil? Do you think 2020 is a reasonable goal for hitting their targets? If you’d like to read the full study you can grab the PDF from the RSPO site here.

First African Palm Oil Plantation Given RSPO Certification

palm oil

Agrivar Agro Industrie Variée has been labelled as the very first African Palm Oil Plantation to be given an RSPO Certification. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) follow a series of strict guidelines which a palm oil plantation must meet to be certified. Agrivar Agro Industrie Variée is based in Bonoua Town, in the Ivory Coast, just 60km south of Abijan. The organisation currently employs a total of 91 people, including 20 women.

This is brilliant news for the palm oil industry, especially considering many foresee that Africa will become one of the leading nations for palm oil production, in the near future. Malaysia and Indonesia currently dominate the supply of palm oil, however they’re recently facing land issues. With Agrivar leading the charge, we expect to see many other palm oil plantations across the region also become RSPO certified over the next couple of years.

Any palm oil plantation which becomes RSPO certified must follow a series of specific internal goals which fall under the following range of different headings:

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Benefits
  • Market leadership
  • Development
  • Employee Engagement
If you’d like to see the full range of RSPO certified palm oil plantations, the RSPO website has a handy list available here.

Palm Oil Conference – POC2012

The Palm Oil And Lauric Oils Conference & Exhibition Price Outlook (POC) is only a week away! The event is held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on a yearly basis. Key players in the palm oil industry attend from over 40 countries annually. The event will be held this year on March 5th-7th, meaning you only have a week left to get registered!

The palm oil and lauric oils conference and exhibition is now into its 2nd decade. The event not only provides attendees with a brilliant networking opportunities, but will also offer a variety of important informative discussions regarding the future of the palm oil and edible oil industries.

If you have any kind of interest in the palm oil industry, then we strongly recommend you attend POC2012. From the event you’ll be able to get quality tips and advice from industry experts. As previously stated, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with industry professionals.

This March, huge names will be attending the event, including the certificate trading programme, GreenPalm. POC2012 has been organised by Bursa Malaysia Derivatives, and is extremely important for the development of the price outlook on the palm oil market.

If you’re interested to find out more about POC2012, be sure to visit their official website – http://www.pocmalaysia.com

Palm Oil – GreenPalm

The demand for palm oil is constantly increasing – more manufacturers are using palm oil in their products every day. Sadly this palm oil is often sourced from unsustainable production plantations, which as a result are causing deforestation and various other forms of pollution.  As a result of this many consumers have taken a stand, and are even boycotting any product containing palm oil.

We believe however that this is not the way to approach the situation, but instead more and more people should be supporting sustainably produced palm oil. Palm oil is present in hundreds of products nowerdays, and is seen as a necessity; therefore it’s unrealistic to believe it’ll be eradicated from these products altogether. Sustainable palm oil however completely removes any issues of deforestation and pollution.

Organisations such as GreenPalm have been set up to help promote sustainable palm oil. GreenPalm is a certificate trading programme which tackles both the environmental and social issues caused by palm oil production. Suppliers can then reward palm oil producers for working sustainably, whilst telling their customers that they’ve sourced sustainable palm oil. Major organisations such as Cadbury’s use GreenPalm’s certificate trading programme.

In the next few years we expect even more major players to jump on board with GreenPalm’s certificate trading programme, and use sustainably sourced palm oil. We’d like to think eventually almost all palm oil will be sustainably sourced. If you have any organisations which help spread the word about sustainable palm oil, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can cover them in a future blog post.

Palm Oil Protest by US Girl Scouts

Palm oil production causing deforestation is a major topical issue of the moment. That’s why it’s all the more exciting to see 2 young girl scouts in the US raising awareness of the issue, and trying to promote awareness a more sustainable solution.

Rhiannon Tomishen and Madison Vorva have been campaigning against the use of palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies. At the age of 11 the girls began to take an interest in endangered orangutans and the damage palm oil plantations were having on their habitats.

Since this point they’ve been trying to raise awareness of the issue by creating campaigns. Last year they it 70,000 signatures for their campaign. This year they’re currently at over 40,000 signatures for their Change.org campaign, which is asking the Girl Scouts USA to stop using palm oil altogether in any products they sell.

Personally, we don’t feel that the removal of palm oil altogether isn’t the best option. However using sustainable palm oil is a fantastic solution, and as a result we applaud the efforts of Rhiannon and Madison wholeheartedly. We’re hoping to see more major names over the next few years announce that they’re sourcing 100% sustainable palm oil in their products. Until that point we hope more people will continue to help raise awareness of the issues caused by normal palm oil production, and instead we’d like to see sustainable palm oil plantations become the norm.

Palm Oil – Top 5 Interesting Links

Palm oil is a hot topic right now. We’ve been to the edges of the internet to bring you our top 5 palm oil related links. We’ve managed to get a huge variety of useful and informative links – from the latest palm oil news, information about sustainable palm oil, a palm oil certificate trading program, and even a site to buy and sell palm oil.

  • http://www.greenpalm.org/en/about-palm-oil/what-is-palm-oil – GreenPalm is a certificate trading programme, designed to tackle the environmental and social problems created by the production of palm oil. GreenPalm actively promotes sustainable palm oil production, and is directly endorsed by the RSPO.
  • http://topics.bloomberg.com/palm-oil/ – Bloomberg is a site for the latest business news and financial information. They’ve even got a specific section just for palm oil news. If you’re invested in the palm oil industry, or simply take an interest in the palm oil market, then be sure to visit Bloomberg.
  • http://www.alibaba.com/products/palm_oil/–20607.html – Alibaba is an award winning trade site for Manufacturers, Suppliers, Exporters, Importers, Buyers and Wholesalers. As of writing they have 6,879 items listed under palm oil.
  • http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/safeguarding_the_natural_world/forests/forest_conversion/how_clean_is_our_palm_oil_.cfm – A great article showing the latest 2011 scorecard for palm oil buyers using sustainable palm oil. We’re very interested to see the improvements this year, however until this point we certainly recommend checking out the 2011 scorecard.
  • http://www.rspo.org/ – The RSPO are the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm. They are a non-profit organisation which aim to promote the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products, by using global standards and engaging with stakeholders.

We hope you find these links to be as useful as we do. If you come across any interesting palm oil related links which you think we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!