Sustainable Organic Palm Oil

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Sustainable Organic Palm oil is possible, and something we should all stand behind. Sustainable palm oil protects and respects wildlife and the environment and does not add to the deforestation problem. It also protects the farmer to ensure they receive fair treatment. Using organic methods to grow sustainable palm oil limits the choices of pesticides and is a more environmentally conscious choice. Sustainable organic palm oil does cost a little bit more, but it is better for the environment. Even the WWF, which is a leader in wilderness preservation, is calling for companies to purchase sustainable palm oil.

Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are ingredients in approximately 50% of products on supermarket shelves. Many products that use palm oil are not clearly labeled. Palm oil and its derivatives can appear under many names.

Rainforest Deforestation from Palm Oil Plantations

New plantations become established, and existing ones expand to meet demand in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian countries, as well as Africa and Latin America. This expansion comes at the cost of tropical rainforest, which forms a critical habitat for a large number of endangered species. Deforestation of our rainforests threatens the survival of indigenous peoples and endangered species, impacts habitat, wildlife, and biodiversity. It can increase soil erosion, affect local weather patterns, disrupt local water cycles, and expand global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Solution?

The solution is not easy. Some people call for a boycott on palm oil, but the outcome of this may be undesirable. Palm oil is one of the most efficient oilseed crops in the world. In 2012, oil palm accounted for 5.5% of the global land use for oilseed crop cultivation, but produced 32% of the worldwide oil consumption. If those palm oil plantations closed due to lack of demand, their owners would likely clear more rainforest to plant other crops that would require even more space to keep up. The second-largest oil crop, soybeans, would need more than ten times the amount of land to produce the same amount of oil. A Boycott is not a clear winner; in this case, it could lead to an increase in rainforest deforestation.

Sustainable growing practices could double palm oil production, while at the same time protecting precious rainforests and their inhabitants. Since palm oil has a high yield, it requires less land compared to other conventional oil crops. Projects have begun to help countries and small farmers identify areas for palm oil development using property previously cleared for other plants. There are also vast tracts of land deforested years ago by loggers that lay abandoned. This land could be ideal for the development of new palm oil plantations. Using this land would eliminate the need to clear additional rainforest to support the growing demand for palm oil.

At Bay Berry Bliss, we only buy USDA Certified Organic Palm oil. We also only purchase oil certified as being sustainable by the RSPO. Palm oil is not going away anytime soon. We want to support those farmers who are making the right decision. You can read more about some of our other product ingredients here: ingredients page.

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