Palm oil: Sustainability achieved through transparency

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Palm oil has a reputation as a “bad” product, but do we really know why this is, and where it’s used? And more importantly, can we do something about it?

In 2004, the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), a non-profit organization, was created to address these issues. In 2008, RSPO developed a set of environmental and social criteria to produce sustainable palm oil.

CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) means that the oil palm plantation has been established on land that did not contain significant biodiversity, wildlife habitat or other environmental values, and meets the highest environmental, social and economic standards as set out by the RSPO, such as transparency, regulatory compliance, long-term economic and financial viability, best growers and millers’ practices, fair working conditions, etc.

According to the WWF, in 2013, fifteen percent of palm oil production worldwide was certified as sustainable (CSPO), a number that continues to grow every year. However, with a higher price point than non-certified palm oil, the market tends to favor the use of non-certified palm oil over CSPO.

Source: Asia Food Journal