New Look at Sustainable Palm Oil Production
14 May 2013 at 5:18 pm
An independent report has highlighted the need for palm oil to be sourced from sustainable suppliers in the Australian market.
The report has been released by sustainability advisers Net Balance and jointly supported by environment Not for Profit, WWF Australia and the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
The report noted the commitment by many major Australian manufacturers and importers to source only sustainable palm oil but also revealed the need for a new business approach which will require a major shift away from business-as-usual by combining ‘economic development with the conservation of ecosystems’.
WWF Australia Chief Executive Dermot O’Gorman said switching to sustainable palm oil was critical to ensure the environment and its many endangered species were protected.
He said making the change would require increased collaboration between business, government and civil society organisations.
“The recent boom in palm oil exports has undoubtedly resulted in economic growth and job
creation in relatively poor regions,” he said.
“However the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations has come at the cost of pristine rainforest in places like Borneo and Sumatra – home to some of the world’s most endangered and iconic species including orangutan and tigers.
“Unsustainable palm oil production is also responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, and in some cases has displaced indigenous communities that rely on forests for food and shelter.”
O’Gorman said it was crucial for companies to ensure any unsustainable practices were phased out.
He also called on governments to support corporate commitments with appropriate incentives and land use planning policies.
Australian Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Gary Dawson said a number of Australian manufacturers and importers were committed to sourcing sustainable palm oil.
"It lays out a way forward, including the need for better understanding of supply chains, better alignment of supply-side and demand-side expectations, and work to overcome significant logistical challenges,” Dawson said.
The report can be downloaded at: http://www.netbalance.com/insights/reports/our-reports/