The Huffington Post reported that palm oil may help solve several issues plaguing our planet. Writer Robert Hii, also mentioned that Malaysia – the world’s second largest producer of palm oil and the source of most American palm oil – is on target to meet its goal of having 100 percent of its palm oil certified sustainable by 2019.
Palm oil helps responsibly feed the world
Hii explained that palm oil can help meet the world’s growing demand for edible oil, despite it being scrutinized by environmental activists. This view is shared by many other experts who appreciate this perennial crop’s impressive yield and contributions to the ecosystem. He added that excess palm oil should be sold to the transportation and energy sectors to reduce fossil fuel use.
Some French leaders have tried to limit palm oil production by taxing products, such as Nutella, which contain the oil. Hii wrote: “Focusing on one ingredient in Nutella while ignoring the rest of its ingredients is typical of the broken conversations surrounding global sustainability. If biodiversity and the health of French citizens is (sic) really that important, they should first question the main ingredient in Nutella, which is sugar. Nutella is doing an unparalleled job at using certified palm oil but that has not spared it from being the favored target for anti-palm oil campaigns.” Ferrero, Nutella’s manufacturer, uses premium quality certified sustainable Malaysian palm oil.
Malaysia is on pace to produce 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil by 2019
Malaysia’s government has announced that Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification will become mandatory for all Malaysian palm oil producers by 2019. A significant percentage of Malaysia’s oil palm plantations are currently MSPO certified. Initiatives are already in place to help more producers – especially the family farmers who tend more than 40 percent of Malaysia’s oil palm-planted land – achieve certification. According to Hii, “At this rate, the target for 100 percent certification by 2019 should be achieved.”
Malaysia cares about its land and its people
For decades, Malaysia has been a leader in responsible palm oil production. While some palm-producing countries have been battered with accusations, Malaysia has strived for excellence. Hii wrote: “Much progress has been achieved in Malaysia to resolve the issues of land and labor rights, as well as the need to protect its forests and biodiversity.”
Hii wrote that activists’ narrow focus on palm oil production is misguided, a concept share by others. “A better way to save forests is to heed the calls of conservationists for governments and industries to work hand-in-hand to come up with global strategies to fight climate change and preserve biodiversity. Sabah state in Malaysia remains a model of how government, industry and conservation groups can get this done.”