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The problem with palm oil?

What do shampoo, ice cream, margarine, lipstick and candles all have in common? They all contain palm oil. Palm what? Palm oil. It's the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet because it's extremely versatile and cheap to grow. Some sources indicate that it is in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket. So what?

 

Palm oil grows in the same area as tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of land for plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable forests. Palm oil has been linked to deforestation and of burning peat lands in Indonesia and Malaysia and has been blamed for the smoke haze that recently choked Singapore. Palm oil plantations have been connected to the destruction of the habitat of endangered species like orang-utans, rhinos, elephants and tigers and to indigenous people losing their land and livelihoods. Forest destruction contributes to climate change, as felled and burned vegetation release climate-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The 2013 Scorecard reveals some encouraging signs of progress toward using CSPO (certified sustainable palm oil).
Palm oil buyers have increased their use of sustainable palm oil but are still not doing enough to support responsible growers and reduce the effects of growing this popular oil in some of the world’s most vulnerable tropical habitats.

Some 20 companies did not respond at all to WWF's request for information on their actions against palm oil.

They include major Irish-based retailers and brands such as IKEA, Heinz, Aldi (Nord), Burger King and Doctor’s Associates (Subway).

(We are working to enable you to TWEET each of the above companies to tell them to STOP destroying the world's tropical forests - please sign on here and we will keep you posted)

Conclusions:The 2013 Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard (report) shows some good progress on 2011. But in many cases companies aren’t moving fast enough toward sustainable palm oil.

2015 DEADLINE is fast approaching

Landgrabbing in Liberia: Tell Equatorial Palm Oil NO means NO!

A community in Liberia is fighting to keep their home. A British palm oil company wants to clear their land without their permission. Add your voice to the petition below to tell the palm oil company and its major shareholders that the world is watching. NO means NO!


In Liberia, the Jogbahn Clan is fighting to keep British palm oil company Equatorial Palm Oil PLC (EPO) from grabbing their land. On March 5th 2014 the community had a major success when the President of Liberia said EPO would not clear Jogbahn Clan land without community consent. The communities have stood firm and continue to say no. But EPO is not listening. The company continues to conduct studies of the Clan’s land in preparation for clearing.

Watch and share this video and sign the petition. You can read more about the clan's story in this moving blog post 'When our land is free, we're all free' . To hear first hand from the community listen to SDI's radio show. Get more information on this story here.

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