A shopping bag full of sustainable palm oil

Posted on: June 15, 2017

With a shopping bag full of groceries and a personal touch, Margot Logman, explained the importance for consumers to chose products with sustainable palm.

On 30 May 2017, the Tong Tong Fair, the largest Eurasian fair in the world was held in The Hague, the Netherlands. Amidst a stimulating blend of Asian culture and food, Margot Logman, secretary general of the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA), was given the chance to tell the palm oil story in the Netherlands. With a personal touch, she emphasised the choice we can make as a consumer and the need to choose sustainable palm oil.

The world currently faces important global issues, with a particular concern on deforestation of rainforests and the global environmental burden. Members of EPOA share these concerns and have taken important steps to solve these issues. What are the facts, and what can we do to protect the tropical forests, wildlife and livelihood of millions of people in producing countries like Indonesia and Malaysia as well as achieve healthier lifestyles in Europe?

With the global rising demand for fats and oils and the few alternatives we have, it is important to be well informed when shopping for products in the supermarket. By telling the palm oil story and the role that palm oil played to rid of unhealthy trans-fats in Western Europe, EPOA provided a fact-based response to the current public discussion and the demand for more sustainable and healthier choices in our daily life. With a few practical examples, showing margarine, oils and cooking fats, Margot explained that a move away from palm oil is not the right answer to sustainability nor to health concerns. ‘In products that require structure a move away from palm oil will generate less healthy alternatives.‘

It is clear that Greenpeace and WWF do not support a ban on palm oil. Instead they emphasize the need to move to sustainable palm oil, because any alternative will need more land and producing countries will lose the incentive to produce more sustainably. Consumers can help by choosing products with sustainable palm oil. ‘Consumers have a choice. By shopping for products with sustainable palm oil that fit in a healthy diet, we can improve our health, reduce deforestation of rainforests and help protect the environment for future generations’.