Palm Oil Coverage

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. Due to its versatility, it is used in both crude and refined form in numerous edible and personal care products as well as feedstock for biofuels. Palm fruit oil, generally known as palm oil, is produced from fruit pulp from the oil palm tree, while palm kernel oil is produced from the oil palm tree fruit nut. 

Palm oil is a key economic driver and important component of gross domestic product in producing countries, providing more than 2 million jobs in 2016. It is considered the most efficient oil crop in terms of land use, having the highest yield compared to other vegetable oil crops per hectare of land. Palm oil also requires less fertilizer, pesticides and energy to produce than its other edible oil crop counterparts. These benefits, coupled with its long shelf-life, desirable health properties and versatility will drive global demand to supply a growing global population with sufficient edible oil.

Despite these advantages, the impact of oil palms growing in High Conservation Values Areas, peat land and former tropical forests is an issue that must be adequately addressed. In 2014, voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) in the sector became more popular to address deforestation, child labour, poverty, land grabbing and smallholder exclusion.  As global pressures mount for deforestation-free palm oil, VSSs will continue to have an important role in supporting its production along with the sustainable development of existing and prospective producing countries.

We will explore these issues further in our palm oil report, to be launched in the second half of 2019.