Palm oil is a vegetable oil found in most consumer products on the market now. Its main purpose is to extend shelf life.
Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil and the country’s precious rainforests are being destroyed by this multimillion dollar industry.
It is known that its production has a wide range of environmental impacts such as climate change, air pollution and soil erosion. Most of the rainforest is plundered and palm trees are planted in their places. Indirectly, the living rights of indigenous people are abused and the habitats of animals such as orangutans are disappearing.
This sector literally burns the world’s oldest rainforests. What is often overlooked is the fact that those who do forest burning, those who prepare these plantations, those who spray banned herbicides (Paraquat) in other parts of the world, and the workers who do them without self-protection are also children.
After the palm fruit is collected, it must be loaded on trucks and delivered to the mill within 24 hours. The fruit is sterilized in the mill, and palm oil is obtained by squeezing. The oil that is refined and separated is sold to companies. One of the largest manufacturers in the world is Wilmar. Unilever, P&G, Nestle, Kellogg’s, Colgate-Palmolive buy palm oil from Wilmar.
Palm oil is in everything we use every day. It is used in the production of all products from shampoo to chocolate.
Is Sustainable Palm Oil Production Possible?
Considering the unconscious and brutal consumption of all products, ignoring sustainable production leads us to disappear.
One of the few steps taken for a sustainable production is the establishment of “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)” in 2004. With the 8 criteria published, it is aimed to prevent the destruction of the rainforests of large companies and to force them into sustainable production. Of course, a more regular use of resources is desired for the process through audits.
While meeting the increasing demand, making the lives of all individuals sustainable with the right use of resources should be among the priorities. Hope to prioritize our values correctly.