This post was originally published on July 10, 2015 and updated on January 10, 2020.
If you spread Nutella on your French croissant this morning, you just entered into an international debate. French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal suggested a boycott of the Italian-made hazelnut spread because it contains palm oil. Some palm oil producers have been blamed for deforestation and impacting the native wildlife habitat. Royal picked the wrong target. Ferrero, the company that produces Nutella, takes significant steps to guarantee its palm oil comes from sustainable sources. Ferrero demands Malaysia’s high-quality and environmentally friendly palm oil. In Alternative Health Expert Bruce Wylde’s interview with Malaysian Palm Oil Council’s Deputy CEO Dr. Kalyana Sundram, he learned Malaysian palm oil is preferred by American companies.
Wylde visited Malaysia to investigate palm oil’s sustainability and health benefits. During an interview with Sundram in an oil palm plantation, he asked: “Why should people look for Malaysian palm fruit oil in their product, versus any other palm oil that may come from anywhere else in the world?”
Sundram was quick to answer. “We are proud of the quality that we assure to our consumers,” he said. “It is produced in a most sustainable manner. If you require the oil supply to be certified from sustainable sources, the industry will very readily produce it. These are some of the simple assurances that we have provided.”
Malaysia is the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, and supplies its oil to companies worldwide. “About 80 percent of the palm oil that is used in the United States actually is sourced from Malaysia and nowhere else,” said Sundram, “because the American industry appreciates the quality, and the rigor of concerns and environmental practices that we operate throughout the industry.”
The Malaysian palm oil industry’s commitment to sustainability has been heralded by many for safeguarding the environment while bringing families out of poverty. Malaysian oil palm plantations are a model for sustainable agriculture. Palm oil is also the most land-efficient edible oil crop.
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