Plea for sustainable palm oil in Dutch TV program Radar

Posted on: September 23, 2014

Monday 22 September the Dutch TV-program ‘TROS Radar’ broadcasted a news item on the sustainability issue of palm oil. Palm oil is a highly efficient crop and due to its versatility, palm oil is an important ingredient in many food- and other consumer products on sale in the supermarket. Sustainable palm oil, produced according to criteria of the RSPO (Round Table of Sustainable Palm oil) helps counter the cutting of tropical rainforest for the use of new palm oil plantations. Both WWF and Greenpeace recommend the use of sustainable palm oil over substitution of palm oil with other fats and oils.

Efficient crop
The biggest issue in the TV-item was the impact that clearing land for palm oil plantations can have on tropical rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. Representatives of Greenpeace and WWF stated that regarding the global rise in the demand for palm oil, substituting palm oil for other fats or oils is not a solution. Palm oil is the most efficient crop in the world. Any other edible oil would require more land. They both recommended to shift to a more sustainable cultivation of palm oil with respect for people and nature.

Sustainable palm oil
WWF and Greenpeace recommend the use of sustainable palm oil, following the requirements of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) over substituting palm oil with other oil producing crops. The RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from different sectors of the palm oil industry. Both NGO’s urge consumers to take action: only when the demand for sustainable palm oil increases, the producing countries will take measures to further increase sustainable cultivation.

The Netherlands
In the Netherlands 61% of the palm oil used in food products is sustainable. The Dutch Task Force on Sustainable Palm oil committed to 100% sustainable palm oil used in the Dutch market by the end of 2015.

Click here for the item on Dutch TV.