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