1. Describe palm oil.

The scientific name for this edible vegetable oil is Elaeis guineensis, and it originates from the fruit of oil palm trees. There are two ways to extract oil: breaking the kernel, or the stone in the center of the fruit, yields palm kernel oil, and squeezing the juicy fruit yields crude palm oil. Although they originated in Africa, oil palm trees were introduced to South-East Asia somewhat more than a century ago as an attractive crop. Although approximately 85% of the world’s supply comes from Indonesia and Malaysia, 42 other nations also produce palm oil.

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Almost everything contains palm oil; around half of the packaged goods we buy in stores include everything from deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, and lipstick to pizza, doughnuts, and chocolate. It’s also used as a biofuel and in animal feed in various areas of the world.


Due to its numerous uses and diverse qualities, palm oil is a very adaptable oil that is utilized extensively. Its properties include being semi-solid at room temperature, which helps spreads stay spreadable; resistance to oxidation, which prolongs product shelf life; stability at high temperatures, which contributes to the crispy and crunchy texture of fried foods; and odour and colorless, which doesn’t change the appearance or scent of food products. As with sunflower or olive oil in the UK, palm oil is commonly used as a cooking oil in Asian and African nations.

In addition to its adaptability, the oil palm is a highly productive crop when it comes to producing large amounts of oil on small plots of land virtually year-round, especially when compared to other vegetable oils. Because they can depend on the consistent revenue that palm oil offers, producers and smallholders find it to be an appealing product.


Deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests has been mostly caused by palm oil, which has destroyed the habitat of species like the Sumatran rhino, pygmy elephant, and orangutan that are already endangered. Millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere as a result of the conversion of carbon-rich peat soils and the loss of forests, which is accelerating climate change. Additionally, there is still occasional worker and child labor exploitation. There is a better approach, therefore the palm oil industry as a whole must take action to solve these grave problems.


There are ways to produce palm oil more responsibly, and businesses, governments, and consumers all have a part to play. Concerns over the effects palm oil was having on society and the environment grew, leading to the formation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, or RSPO, in 2004. The majority of the worldwide industry supports the RSPO, which includes production guidelines for growers that define best practices for producing and procuring palm oil. RSPO urge businesses to:

Establish strict guidelines to cut out human rights violations, deforestation, and the alteration of other natural habitats like peatlands from their supply chains.

Purchase and apply RSPO-certified palm oil throughout their whole worldwide organization.

Be open and honest about how and where they utilize palm oil, making sure to know the source and who to buy from.

It is imperative that the palm oil sector persists in allocating resources and augmenting backing for smallholder efforts and sustainable landscape programs. In order to guarantee that national legislation are in place to guarantee that any palm oil traded is free of deforestation, conversion, and exploitation, We also collaborating with the governments of both palm oil producing and palm oil consuming nations.


More oil is produced per acre of land by palm oil than by any other comparable vegetable oil production, making it a very efficient crop. On somewhat less than 6% of the area utilized to produce all vegetable oils, palm oil provides 40% of the world’s need for vegetable oils. It would need four to ten times more land to produce the same quantity of other oils, such as soybean, coconut, or sunflower oil. This would just move the problem to other regions of the planet and endanger other ecosystems, species, and communities. Millions of smallholder farmers also rely on the production of palm oil for their livelihoods. Avoiding palm oil is not the solution. Rather, we must insist on more action in order to address the problems and move forward more quickly.


The global benchmark for the sustainable production of palm oil is known as the RSPO. In order for palm oil to continue playing a significant role in food security, economic growth, and food supply chains, producers who produce palm oil in accordance with RSPO criteria contribute to the protection of the environment and the local populations who rely on the crop for their lives. Since substituting it would lead to further deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats, we should keep using RSPO certified sustainable palm oil in our goods. The highest level of assurance for sustainable palm oil may be found in RSPO-certified goods that use palm oil from “Segregated” or “Identity Preserved” supply chains.

We actively participates in influencing and creating the RSPO standard, working with other organizations to ensure that it include further protections for both people and the environment. The RSPO standard was reinforced in November 2018 and is now a vital instrument that may assist businesses in fulfilling their pledges to produce palm oil that is free from human exploitation, deforestation, and the alteration of other natural ecosystems like peatlands.

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