Responsibly produced palm oil is gaining sales traction worldwide, with Malaysian palm oil maintaining its industry leadership. Major palm oil buyers are choosing Malaysian palm oil because it’s good for the planet as well as good nutritionally.
The Malaysian palm oil industry adheres to the three Ps of sustainability: people, planet and profit. In fact, the Malaysian palm oil industry is one of the most highly regulated agricultural sectors in the world, including its strict adherence to Good Agricultural Practices to ensure its growers comply with corporate governance and social responsibility.
Malaysia has pledged to set aside at least 50 percent of its total land area under forest cover. Currently, almost 56 percent of its total land area remains under forest cover. Malaysia remains one of the world’s 17 mega bio diverse countries, according to Conservation International.
What’s really causing deforestation?
According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, humans use more land for livestock than any other purpose. Livestock accounts for 71 percent of all agricultural land use, or 30 percent of our planet’s land surface.
About 3.9 billion hectares of land are used by the livestock industry, of which 3.4 billion hectares are used for grazing while another 471 million hectares are used to produce animal feed. Combined, that’s an area five times larger than Australia, 14 times bigger than Argentina and 145 times the size of New Zealand. It’s no exaggeration that livestock if the major driver of deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
Good for the planet
The area occupied by the world’s palm oil, at 15.6 million hectares or 0.31 percent of all agricultural land use, is miniscule by comparison. The land area used for livestock production is 250 times more than that used to produce palm oil.
Another feel-good bonus? It requires less land to produce the same amount of palm oil as other vegetable oil crops such as soy, canola or sunflower.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.