Photo : creative commons Flickr Marufish
It now well known that the production of palm oil not only has devastating environmental, but also social problems. A study by the German NGO SÜDWIND provides further information into the breaches of social and environmental standards and related human rights violations. It specifically looks at cases in Indonesia, Malaysia and Honduras.
The study shows the EU is one of the largest consumers of palm oil, in 2013 importing nearly 7 million tonnes or 12% of global production. Germany in 2013 imported 1.3 million tonnes or 2% of global production. This includes only the direct imports of palm oil and not all the final products in which palm oil is used.
The study also evaluates the pros and cons of the certification systems used for Palm oil globally, including the RSPO and Green palm Sustainability. Currently 20% of global palm oil is certified by the RSPO, of which 51% is from Indonesia, 42% from Malaysia, 5% from Papua New Guinea and 1% from Bazil and Columbia.
The newly published study is a timely reminder of the impact of the palm oil industry , with news coming out of Indonesia about the devastating fires which are predominantly caused by clearing of land for agriculture, including palm oil concessions. 19 people have died due to the impacts of the haze in Indonesia and the fires are the worst that they have been in 20 years.1.
The study is available (in German only) on the following website: http://www.suedwind-institut.de/publikationen/2015/#tt-products-list-490
- CNN South East Asia’s Haze crisis: A crime against humanity, 29 October 2015 [↩]