Tag Archives: palm oil round table

Sustainable Palm Oil Is a Growing Concern

Palm oil is a commodity that is highly in demand. Since the eve of the second millennium, governments have been prioritising on developing a greener planet.  Car manufacturers are focused on building clearer and more efficient cars.

Countries that produce palm oil including: Malaysia, Colombia and Indonesia are under pressure to supply the demand. Sustainability is a growing concern. There is a huge threat to wildlife and rain forests in tropical regions. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) established in 2003,  tackle the problems of deforestation and the growing regions of peat lands. As a result, the number of orangutans have declined and now classed as endangered species.

The responsibility of the RSPO is to enforce sustainable palm oil regulations. Oil palms are highly efficient oil producers each fruit containing 50% of oil. The palm oil tree produces more oil than any other oil plant per hectare.

Palm oil can be a highly sustainable resource if planned properly. As the global demand increases, it is important to keep the rainforests safe and natural habitats preserved.

In 2011, the Cameroon palm oil project has evidence that threatens the eco-system of west Central Africa.  Doctors and environmental experts wrote to National Geographic stating their concern of this project and that numerous laws and RSPO rules are in violation.

Some of the violations include the proposed 70,000 hectare palm oil plantation is unsuitable for most wildlife species. The project will require large dense area of high-canopy forest to be removed in order to plant oil palms, resulting in additional carbon dioxide, resulting to an incline of deforestation and the decline of certain species.

It is imperative, that regulations are in place to protect local communities and the current ecosystem.  Sustainability is an important aspect of any farming infrastructure, the developing quality regulations and practices, sustainable farming is highly achievable.


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!

Palm Oil Biodiesel Rejected

It’s all over the news this week – the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that palm oil biodiesel doesn’t meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction level required to be used as an alternative to petrol-based diesel fuel.

To produce their results the EPA takes into consideration the emission and energy inputs for fuel production, alongside the change in land use needed to use palm oil as a feedstock.  Their results found that palm oil produces a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, however the law requires that a biodiesel produces a reduction of 20% when compared to traditional diesel fuel.

These results from the EPA however lean largely on assumptions about how the biodiesel fuels are actually being produced. Obviously every plantation operates slightly differently, therefore a sustainable palm oil production plant will have a significantly lower level of emissions than that of a standard plantation.

The EPA will continue to look for new forms of biodiesel with lower greenhouse gas emissions. However we’re starting to see a real increase in the amount of sustainable palm oil production plants recently – which provides a good chance that the emissions footprint of palm oil could become even lower in the future. Be sure to continue support for sustainably sourced palm oil in the products you purchase.