1 Tahrcountry Musings: Palm oil production without threatening tropical forests

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Palm oil production without threatening tropical forests

Consumers of Palm Oil can now partake it with a clean conscience following acceptance by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) — a group of producers, buyers, retailers, financial institutions and NGOs — on a set of criteria for the responsible production of palm oil. Bad practices in parts of the industry have brought about high ecological and social costs. WWF has urged the companies to implement these criteria as soon as possible to ensure the conservation of tropical forests that are valuable for both people and endangered species, such as elephants, tigers, and orang-utans. As sustainable palm oil production gains momentum, it will stop further destruction and save some of the world’s most biodiversity rich forests. WWF initiated Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in co-operation with business partners in 2003.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Not quite yet. I'm in total support of the RSPO, but the palm oil industry has a way to go. The RSPO only accounts for a third of palm oil production at the moment. So another two thirds of palm oil comes from sources that fall outside RSPO guidance. Whils the criteria were passed in November last year, which we are very happy about, it will still take two years before these criteria are worked out to implementation, and no certification will be available until this point.

So - support the RSPO - but don't think that all palm oil is good. I guess at this stage you are going to have to look for which suppliers are members of the RSPO if you are going to support this innitiative with purchase power. For example - in the UK - ASDA, Waitrose, Sainsburys, M&S, Boots and the Co-op are all RSPO members. Meanwhile other supermarket giants such as Tesco and Morrisons are not. We need this sort of information for all countries.. and then you can make some decisions about how your purchase power will impact on the development of sustainable palm oil.

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