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The demand for palm oil is ever-increasing with the growth of the biofuel industry and growing need for everyday food and cosmetics products. It is an extremely productive crop, providing one third of the world’s vegetable oil from 10% of the land used for all oil crops. It is everywhere, and we can’t escape it; it is in our biscuits, washing detergent, lipstick, soap, ice cream, and that’s just for starters.
So what’s the issue? The issue is, that its production is leading to the displacement of indigenous people, deforestation and an overwhelmingly high loss of biodiversity. Further to that, the conversion of forest using fire is releasing even more CO2 into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Malaysia and Indonesia account for approximately 85% of the world’s palm oil production which is having devastating effects on their wildlife, including orangutans which are now critically endangered.
You can help by looking for the RSPO sustainable label or avoiding food containing palm oil, and by supporting the campaign here to pressure big brands to stop using unsustainably sourced palm oil!