What is palm oil?
Palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil. It comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree which grows in tropical climates, for example in Southeast Asia. Increased demand for palm oil has led to a huge increase in commercial plantations, which in turn has led to the destruction of vast areas of tropical rainforest, home to many rare species.
The palm oil problem
Unsustainable palm oil production is devastating wildlife and wild places in many tropical countries and is linked to deforestation – one of the key drivers of climate change. But palm oil itself isn’t the problem – it’s actually a very versatile and high-yielding crop that provides a livelihood for millions of people in tropical countries. The problem arises from how it is grown, and we believe that promoting sustainably grown palm oil is the most effective way for people to help.
What is sustainable palm oil?
Unsustainable palm oil is grown on land that has been newly deforested, and it’s this loss of tropical forest habitat that is having such a devastating effect on many species. Using an alternative oil, such as sunflower or olive oil, will not solve the problem, it will just move it to another area and other species. Sustainable palm oil is grown by reusing already deforested land rather than clearing new areas. Investing in sustainable production means that we can continue to use palm oil, support developing economies and minimise any further loss of wildlife and wild places.
What are we doing?
Sustainable Palm Oil Communities aims to increase the demand for sustainable palm oil one community at a time, by bringing organisations together to achieve the same goal. Newquay is joining the movement to adopt sustainable palm oil policies and make sustainable palm oil products available to the public. In Newquay, we are working together to aim to buy, serve and promote products that contain sustainable palm oil in order to protect our planet’s wonderful rainforests and the amazing species that call them home.
What can you do?
- Support local businesses that have signed the palm oil pledge to switch to sustainable palm oil.
- Shop at supermarkets that have committed to using sustainable palm oil in their products.
- Become a Newquay Zoo member. Your support allows us to continue to work on making Newquay a Sustainable Palm Oil Town.
- Sponsor an otter. Otters are just one of our species whose wild relatives are threatened by palm oil production.