Palm oil tested on sustainability
By Muhammad Cohen
NUSA DUA, Bali – Palm oil plantations play a major role in the growing problems of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia and tropical woodlands around the world. Last week’s gathering of the International Conference on Oil Palm and Environment (ICOPE) is one move toward making the industry part of the solution.
Whether the palm oil industry can, in fact, be part of the solution to deforestation is a proposition that divides palm oil producers, manufacturers, retailers, and, naturally, environmental groups. At one extreme, sustainable palm oil production is considered an oxymoron. The opposite fringe sees critics of palm oil as dupes of a developed-world plot against poor farmers, built on myths of species extinction and climate change, funded by palm’s rival oil and fat producers.
Read the full story at Asia Times
BRITAIN – Western food manufacturers are buying so little sustainable palm oil that the system set up to limit damage to tropical forests caused by the world’s cheapest vegetable oil is in danger of collapse.
Palm-oil producers say the industry may quit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) because so few firms are financially backing the scheme.
Houshold products giant Unilever and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) founded the RSPO seven years ago to encourage producers of the oil, used in products such as biscuits and margarine, to minimise forest destruction, greenhouse gas emissions and loss of endangered wildlife, such as tigers and orangutans.
Palm oil is in hundreds of branded foods in the UK such as Kit Kat and Hovis and in household products such as Dove soap and Persil washing powder.
Read the full story at NZHerald