Perspectives on palm oil

Perspectives on palm oil

Last week, Lucy from Sumatran Orangutan Society attended a business event focused on sustainable palm oil. Hosted by the Future Economy Network, the event brought together people from the business sector, NGOs and researchers to discuss the sustainable palm oil industry, especially regarding what we should all be doing to help the industry reach its sustainability goals.

You can read Lucy’s full summary of what the expert speakers had to say here.

The most important take-home messages were about what all of us can do to support the people who are really pushing the palm oil industry in the right direction. There is agreement among experts that the RSPO isn’t perfect. However, it is improving, and the standards applied to palm oil are far more robust than those applied to most other oils and fats (many of which have no standards or regulating bodies at all). Consumer demand still drives most of the positive change in the palm oil industry, and though it would be better if suppliers would just do the right thing without pressure, we can at least use this knowledge to keep driving the industry to do better.

With this in mind, we encourage you to take part in these simple actions:

– Use apps and sustainable palm oil shopping lists to support the brands doing things right.

– Contact your favourite brands to find out what their palm oil policy is (if it’s not clear on their website or packaging), and let them know that it’s easier than they might think to switch to sustainable palm oil if they haven’t already.

– Spread the word that sustainable palm oil exists and that consumers should support it. There’s a lot of worry and misinformation out there, so if people you know are concerned about what to do, please direct them to resources that will help (on the SOS website and many others).