But when oil palm producers drain the swamps and burn the remaining foliage to establish their crops, this carbon sequestration reverses, and releases all of that carbon back into the atmosphere. 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. Palm oil has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health. 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. It is a type of vegetable oil derived from palm oil fruit. Click for more information. 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. Greenpeace is fighting to stop the sourcing of unethical “dirty palm oil” to protect the homes of indigenous peoples and endangered species. Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? Palm Oil Industrial Domestic Consumption by Country in 1000 MT. 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. 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. Once a Dream Fuel, Palm Oil May Be an Eco-Nightmare (New York Times)3. When it comes down to it, the problems of the palm oil industry are symptoms of a much larger problem that there are countries who get to dictate global economies, and those countries don’t operate on an ethic of environmental or social care, but rather one of domination and exploitation. Lack Of Consumer Demand For Sustainable Palm Oil. ☁️, This destructive process has led to a sharp decline of peatlands in Indonesia and Malaysia. In sum, the production of palm oil is bad for the environment, animals, Indigenous people, and labourers. Environmental Blog submission by Jordan Rydman, Arizona State University, April 2020. 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. by Leafcutter, Powered - Vol. 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). That’s an increase of the equivalent of roughly 36,000 Olympic sized swimming pools of carbon dioxide more per year. Cadbury chocolate must end their “irresponsible” use of palm oil which is “destroying” the planet, the founder’s great grandson has said. In regard to socio-economic wellbeing, some scientists insist that palm production is the cause of widespread and severe displacement of impacted communities. We support responsible sourcing of palm oil through our Global 2020 Sustainability Commitments. For example, Borneo and Sumatra, two islands off the coast of Indonesia, account for 96% of Indonesia’s palm oil production (USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, 2013). © 2019 ethical.net | operated by Centre for Applied Ethics Ltd. | 18 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL, London, UK   |. Deforestation has also already resulted in a spike in violence across Indonesia, wherein 2012, over 600 major land conflicts in palm plantations were recorded (Vidal, 2013). So, their sustainable fuel initiative was not really sustainable at all. These conflicts came with a measurable human cost—communities were uprising after their traditional forests were destroyed with some becoming violent. Others deem palm oil as essential to our markets and way of life. (Vidal, 2013). If you look closely, palm oil is everywhere. ✔️ 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. Retrieved from https://canvas.asu.edu/courses/47624/pages/lecture-agricultural-production-globally?module_item_id=3086477, United Nations Development Programme. Yet, as a result of palm agriculture and correlated deforestation, scientists warn that “many of Indonesia’s species could be extinct in the wild within 20–30 years. RSPO UPDATES ON COVID-19. 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. The Trump administration will halt imports of palm oil from Malaysia over findings of forced labor abuses at the plantations of one of the country's top producers. Palm oil is said to be found in 50% of supermarket products, from food to household cleaners to cosmetics.. Together, the two nations produce approximately 90% of the world’s palm oil (Yale University Global Forest Atlas, n.d.). Palm oil serves many purposes in enhancing the quality of everyday products around the world, both edible and inedible. © 2020 Orang Utan Republik Foundation  |  Privacy policy  |  Designed 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). Commodity Intelligence Report INDONESIA: Palm Oil Expansion Unaffected by Forest Moratorium. Regardless of palm oil’s unique combination of quality and versatility, due to the environmental ramifications of producing it, some argue that it is necessary to transition the world towards using different crop oils which might be more resource-efficient. Half of Indonesia’s deforestation occurs outside concession areas (Mongabay)9. In the case of trees, this compounds the environmentally damaging act of clear cutting by releasing large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere via smoke. The Devastating Effects Of The World’s Palm Oil Addiction, Once a Dream Fuel, Palm Oil May Be an Eco-Nightmare. 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. Increasing this demand poses a challenge, but is of urgent importance if we hope to preserve what remains of the Southeast Asian tropics, the wildlife which call it home, and the livelihoods of those who depend on it. Retrieved from https://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=palm-oil&graph=industrial-domestic-consumption, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. It’s even found in household items like soaps and lotions, toothpaste and shampoo. Opinions expressed are those of the author. Witzenhausen : University of Kassel, Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture. Palm oil is a small ingredient in the U.S. diet, but more than half of all packaged products Americans consume contain palm oil—it’s found in lipstick, soaps, detergents and even ice cream. 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. 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. The Welsh Government is also considering how it can reduce the use of unethical palm oil in food and drink produced in Wales. 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). 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. This oil production would simply threaten different sets of species. Watch Queue Queue The environmental impacts of palm oil production, particularly over the last few decades, have been catastrophic. 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). It is my opinion that the negative ramifications associated with palm production are far too dire to go without legal action. 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. With 40% of global palm oil being produced by smallholders, our supply chain is complex. Land Use Policy (Vol. 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). Die Früchte werden sterilisiert und gepresst, dabei entsteht das rohe Palmöl, CPO (Crude Palm Oil). The health, environmental and economic benefits of palm oil. (WWF)4. Their solution was biofuels, chief of which was palm oil. “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. Palm oil has been a big issue on the sustainability agenda for many years now. 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.. In conclusion: comprehensive legislative action is desperately needed, but the palm industry should not have to die for victory to have been achieved. by Two Blokes with a Postie, OURF President and Co-founder Gary L. Shapiro, Community Education and Conservation Program, Mobile Education and Conservation Unit Program, https://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?commodity=palm-oil&graph=industrial-domestic-consumption, https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil, Designed Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/57a08b09ed915d3cfd000abe/PTA25.pdf, Stotts, R. (n.d.) Lecture: Agricultural Production Globally [PowerPoint Presentation]. Retrieved from https://globalforestatlas.yale.edu/land-use/industrial-agriculture/palm-oil. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837717304751#! Palm oil: The pros and cons of a controversial commodity. 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. With an educated consumer base, we could influence legislators to pass laws against unethical palm oil production. Europe has long sought to replace their emissions-heavy diesel fuel with something a little more clean burning. Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? Ultimately, the palm oil industry is now at the whims of economically and politically powerful countries, and is just one of many industries that sacrifices environmental health and the well-being of poor and marginalized communities in pursuit of profits. 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. 8 things to know about palm oil. As a result, simply banning palm oils is not enough. 44. Nature, 448(7157), 993-994. Large palm oil companies that have promised to act ethically have been accused of land grabbing, ignoring human rights and exploiting … 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. 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. 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. This controversial ingredient may be present in some form in nearly every room of your home. Retrieved from https://ipad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2013/06/indonesia/, Vidal, J. 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). (2013, June 26). KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 ― Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) has lodged a formal complaint and demands that Kraft Heinz stop using the “No Palm Oil” claim which goes against the spirit of the Rountable of Sustainble Palm Oil (RSPO)’s Shared Responsibility pledge. 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. It’s consistency is desirable for cosmetic products, it is resistant to oxidization which gives a longer shelf-life to products containing it, it is considered a healthier alternative to other oils for its lack of trans fats, it is ideal for frying foods due to its stability at high temperatures, and its lack of color and odor prevent it from impacting flavors of food (WWF, 2020; Sinaga, 2013). According to one analysis, from 1990 to 2010, 9.6 million h… As for palm oil, although it is rich in antioxidants, it contains high amounts of saturated fats, which can cause heart disease. (2016). 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. Two decades of destruction in Southeast Asia’s peat swamp forests (Miettinen et al.). by Leafcutter and Powered 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. Our Changing Climate is a video essay series dedicated to examining our relationship to the natural world and seeks to fill a void in the media: a lack of coverage of all things environmental. 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. 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. Palmöl (auch: Palmfett) wird aus dem Fruchtfleisch der Palmfrüchte gewonnen. Energy, Sustainability and Society (2017) 7:23DOI 10.1186/s13705-017-0126-z, Shanahan, M. (2019, November 4). Together, the two countries produce about 85% of the world’s estimated $65 billion palm oil supply. Palm oil has become the most widely used vegetable oil on Earth. Sustainably-produced palm oil is an emerging industry, but the lack of education surrounding palm deforestation has given it close to no consumer demand (Nastu, 2017). 1. Sabrina De Quintal. In: Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society. Environmental and Social Impacts of Oil Palm Plantations and their Implications for Biofuel Production in Indonesia (Obidzinski et al.)7. 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. Human Development Data (1990-2018). 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. Conflict Palm Oil is found in roughly half of all packaged products sold in U.S. grocery stores. (2013, May 26). 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. 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. 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. 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.). 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). Additionally, palm oil is one of the most critically important crops for Southeast Asian emerging economies (Koh & Wilcove, 2007). 44. 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). Palm oil producers have continuously been found guilty of multiple crimes against humanity, including child labour, underpaid work, hazardous working conditions, and more. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982218300861, WWF. Through a medley of small land holders and large corporations, rural land has been transformed into an oil palm monocropping factory. Through a medley of small land holders and large corporations, rural land has been transformed into an oil palm monocropping factory. If the palm oil industry were to simply be replaced with different types of oil, the associated issues of biodiversity loss, deforestation, and environmental degradation would not disappear, but instead would simply shift to different areas of the world where other oils would be produced. Palm oil is an important food in Asia. Get early access and support this important research by becoming a patreon. Furthermore, casual and unpaid laborers are rife on palm plantations, with most unpaid laborers being women and children (Sinaga, 2013). 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. The world has become dependent on this cheap and versatile oil. 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 sustainable would indicate that the rainforest is not being harmed in the production of palm oil, “mixed” meant that the oil is blended from unsustainable sources. ❌. Children as young as eight doing … Jelsma, I., Schoneveld, G. C., Zoomers, A., & van Westen, A. C. M. (2017). Palm oil producers, noticing the penchant for biofuels, managed to penetrate the biofuels market mostly in Europe. (n.d.). The cheaper option should always be the environmentally better option. Women forced to work long hours under the threat of having their pay cut, paid below minimum wage - earning as little as US$2.50 a day in extreme cases - and kept in insecure employment without pensions or health insurance, 2. 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 … by Two Blokes with a Postie. Even consumers who are informed of the ethical issues surrounding traditional palm production are often unaware that sustainably produced palm oil exists (Nastu, 2017). Instead, it must be revolutionized towards sustainability. Brighton: Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity. How palm oil ban has made the EU a dirty word in Malaysia (The Guardian) 8. Palm Oil. On a similar note, the working conditions of those in the palm sector have been repeatedly put under ethical scrutiny. For the sake of consistency, I will focus on cases across Indonesia. Combined, these two countries satisfy 90% of the global demand for palm oil. 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). 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). These goods might come in the form of shampoo, lipstick, cleaning supplies, or most notably, our food. 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. Over 50 percent of processed goods contain unsustainable palm oil, including, healthy, vegan and organic products — it’s in nearly everything, from … 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. 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. This massive terraforming endeavor is all happening to satisfy demand from Western countries hooked on palm oil’s ability to replace more costly alternatives, and product spending from shampoos to pizza doughs. 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. 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. Even permanent employees are often seriously underpaid, making less than a dollar per day of intensive labor (Sinaga, 2013). 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). Global production of and demand for palm oil is increasing rapidly. If Nestlé takes a clear stand against Indofood, PepsiCo could join, leaving Indofood cornered and forced to change its destructive and abusive ways. Ethical.net is a collaborative platform for discovering and sharing ethical product alternatives — whether that means purchasing from a social enterprise, thrift shopping, or learning how to fix your old phone instead of buying a new one. 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). Palm oil is virtually impossible to avoid. The investigation exposed a wide range of abuses including: 1. Reines und frisches Palmöl hat einen spezifischen Veilchengeruch, einen süßlichen, angenehmen Geschmack und ist vo… Unchecked expansion has pushed palm oil plantations into the heart of some of the world’s most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems and palm oil is among the biggest threats driving iconic wildlife species like the Sumatran orangutan to the brink of extinction in Indonesia. As consumers, we need to use our power at the checkout to continue to drive change in the palm oil industry. For example, in 2018, palm oil contributed 37.9% of Malaysia’s agricultural GDP, or nearly 3% of the nation's total GDP for that year (Department of Statistics, Malaysia Official Report, 2019). Most of the palm oil that we source originates in Malaysia and Indonesia, though we also receive supplies from across Latin America, West Africa and other parts of Asia. On its own, the dramatic deforestation funded by palm oil is expected to cause a spike in natural disasters in the coming years, such as floods, wildfires, and droughts, killing thousands and destroying sources of income and homes (Vidal 2013). Selected Agricultural Indicators, Malaysia, 2019. Pushing companies to only buy certified sustainable palm oil is one clear way of doing this. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/02/orangutan-habitat-loss-hunting-killing-borneo-spd/#close. (2019). 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). The oil is shrouded in controversy and skepticism and I want to know whether the environmental impact of palm oil consumption warrants these drastic measures and whether boycotting or banning palm oil is a reasonable solution. Due to the efficiency of producing palm oil, it also plays an important role in feeding the growing population of our planet. The U.S. is the 9th largest consumer of palm oil in the world, consuming only around 10% of the amount consumed in Indonesia: the country ranked #1 for palm oil consumption globally (USDA, 2019). S. 64-78, Sood, N. ( 2010 ) sought to replace their emissions-heavy diesel fuel something... 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