How should I help promote sustainable palm oil production?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
With the power of the Internet, you can make a difference to promote sustainable palm oil production. Here are a few options:
  • Familiarize yourself with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a Swiss organization dedicated to promoting sustainable palm oil. They have developed a method of certifying farmers’ practices, ensuring that palm oil is grown in environmentally sustainable ways. While some companies are doing it right, most aren’t. Currently, only 40% of the world’s palm oil producers are certified through the RSPO, so beware when shopping online.
  • Check out the World Wildlife Fund’s Interactive Palm Oil Scorecard, which shows companies’ sustainability record with regard to using palm oil in their products.
  • You can look for palm oil sources that come from farms outside the orangutan’s natural habitats, which include Indonesia and Malaysia. Some companies grow palm oil in Australia and West Africa, where palm oil farms have less of an environmental impact. However, many claim that Malaysia and Indonesia are working hard to preserve their wildlife, as evidenced by the creation of the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund. This organization works with government and industry funds to manage conservation projects and regulate the growth of the palm oil industry.

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