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Netherlands Commits To Sustainable Palm Oil

Netherlands Commits To Sustainable Palm Oil

Thanks to an agreement between all palm oil suppliers and buyers in the Dutch market, the Netherlands became the first country to commit to using only sustainable palm oil earlier this month.

The pledge was made by companies participating in the Dutch Taskforce on Sustainable Palm Oil. The task force was initiated by the Dutch Product Board for Margarine, Fats and Oils (MVO), which also participates in the global Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

The group’s formal agreement, the “Manifesto of the Task Force Sustainable Palm Oil” (PDF), details plans to phase out all palm oil from unsustainable suppliers by 2015.

According to the Rainforest Action Network, about 50 percent of the products we use everyday contain palm oil, including soap, detergent, and processed foods like chocolate and cereal.

Several months ago, Care2′s Jasmine Greene reported that the demand for palm oil is leading to increased deforestation in already threatened areas like Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Recently number of international food makers including Unilever, Nestle, Cadbury and Kraft, and restaurants such as Burger King have moved to drop one of the worst palm oil manufacturers, Sinar Mas.

It can be difficult to know the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable palm oil unless the company chooses to mark their products or participate in transparency programs.

Currently, GreenPalm is one of the only organizations offering a certification program for palm oil suppliers and purchasers. Their program enables a financial premium to be earned by producers who can prove they are environmentally and socially responsible, who are not destroying primary forest, and who develop plans to continually improve their operations.

TAKE ACTION: Stop The Use Of Palm Oil in Kraft Foods

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Image: View of palm oil plantation in Cigudeg, Bogor.
Image Credit: Flickr - a_rabin

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93 comments

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7:39AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Its good that Netherlands commits and supports the sustainable development of Palm Oil industry. Netherlands can lead and show the world how to grow and expand the Palm Oil industry in a responsible way, that do not disadvantage the poor farmers, while also being eco-friendly.

Else Netherlands is being seen dictating how Indonesia and other countries use and manage their landmass.
Netherlands can prove that she is not a returning modern-day colonialist.

11:26AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:40AM PST on Nov 9, 2012

yes our little coutry is an example to the world

5:59PM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Perhaps it will take the purchase & ownership of Huge Rainforest Areas by maybe Greenpeace,to actually ensure the safe keeping of RAINFORESTS. This would take a great deal of money,but with some kick-off donations from billionaires,many people would follow suit & donate,a non profit,non political,well respected group like Greenpeace could establish a "RAINFOREST OWNERSHIP" membership,& go from there.Anyone else think this is worth a try?

9:37PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

For Karen L.- the reason palm oil is bad for the environment is that the rainforest is cut down or burnt to make way for the palm oil plantations. Very few animals can find enough food to live in the oil palms once the natural trees have been destroyed, and in some plantations, where starving orangutans eat the palm oil shoots, the workers beat and try to kill orangutans.

9:33PM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

Everyone can claim they are buying sustainable palm oil- but by encouraging the use of palm oil in any products, we are encouraging lowlifes to sneak rainforest destroying palm oil into the market.

5:00AM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

This is fantastic news and a vital if only small step to stop deforestation. Sustainable by 2015 is an awful lot more destruction though, which i don't think the rainforest or its creatures can afford. Also any links with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil or similar worry me that they really can be sustainable. I don't see companies like Unilever (members of RSPO) advertising the fact that they are using sustainable PO. Maybe if they did, we would all realise just how much rainforest has been raized to the ground over the last 50 years by these companies. We don't need this product - its just the money that drives it.

10:57PM PST on Dec 27, 2010

This is good new, hope other countries follow.

11:02PM PST on Dec 20, 2010

THANKS

10:44PM PST on Dec 19, 2010

How wonderful to hear about such progressive and passionately aggressive countries like the netherlands whom truly seem to be working toward the well-being of the planet on governmental and social scale. Cool. Blessings.

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