When you hear about the damage that palm tree growing is doing in terms of farmers burning down the rainforests to plant large plantations you probably think, it’s ok, I don’t use palm oil. Well unfortunately you probably do, it is in many processed foods and you won’t see it in the ingredients because it can be listed as vegetable oil.
That is why in Berlin on Wednesday, 260 delegates came together for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO) 1st European Summit. They “positively acknowledged the launch of the German Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil and French Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil”.
In December 2014, the EU regulations are due to change and companies will have to list palm oil as an ingredient and not under the term vegetable oil. Its seems prudent that companies are confident the palm oil being used in their products is responsibly sourced to avoid a public backlash.
Also, removing palm oil from food could actually be worse for the environment, in a recent podcast of the BBC’S Costing the Earth Adam Harrison from the WWF stated that palm oil requires 9 times less land to produce the same amount of oil as soy, the next most grown plant for vegetable oil.
The global demand for fats oils are going to increase in the coming years. On the RSPO website, they state that palm oil, if sourced responsibly can make “a crucial contribution” to meeting this demand.