We believe that it is better to use sustainable palm oil, instead of using palm oil that harms the environment or boycotting the product altogether. But what exactly does ‘sustainable’ palm oil mean?
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a body that certifies palm oil as being sustainable. While not all sustainable palm oil products carry this logo, it’s an easy way to spot items that are produced in a way that’s good for both growers and the planet.
RSPO requires growers to follow seven principles to be certified as sustainable:
- Behave ethically and transparently
- Operate legally and respect rights
- Optimise productivity, efficiency, positive impacts and resilience
- Respect community and human rights, and deliver benefits
- Support smallholder inclusion
- Respect workers’ rights and conditions
- Protect, conserve and enhance ecosystems and the environment
In reality, this means:
- No deforestation to create new areas for planting
- Making the most out of an area, rather than using more and more land
- No new planting on peat
- No use of fire to clear land
- Sensible management to ensure stable production levels and job stability
- Protecting labour and human rights
- Including growers and employees in decision-making
- Providing a decent living wage
- Protecting and creating wildlife corridors to help plants and animals thrive
- Committing to continual improvement
So, next time you pick up a product made with sustainable palm oil, you can be confident that you are choosing a product that protects the environment and supports local people!