Palm Production’s Environmental Effect and Solution

Palm oil has always been a topic up for a discussion in terms of its environmental effects. The production of palm oil leads to deforestation, which could impact wildlife’s habitat and contributes to global warming. However, demand towards the product has not slowed down because prices of palm derivatives were regarded as an economical option for consumers. But there is no denying about the concern on how it could affect the environment in the future. The issue is not being ignored by palm producers around the world, and some palm producers are trying a more sustainable approach in the production of palm products.

To combat the issues of environmental effects from palm oil productions, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a non-profit organization, was established.  Its vision and mission is to create a global standard and a more sustainable approach to  for palm oil productions. The main goal of palm oil production sustainability is to achieve the following:

  • Fulfills increasing global food demand
  • Supports affordable food prices
  • Safeguards social interests, communities and workers
  • Protects the environment and wildlife
  • Supports poverty

In order  to achieve the sustainability goal, RSPO has created a guideline for palm producers around the world. One of the key points of the guideline is to production in areas that has an endangered ecosystem. Another point is to use less pesticides, consulting with the locals, as well as to treat worker in global right standards. If the production meet RSPO criteria, it will be given Certification of Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by RSPO. It it also functioned as a customer’s awareness that they are consuming products that were produced sustainably. RSPO is heavily supported by other palm organization such as Indonesia and Malaysia’s palm association.

Steady increased on certified production area by the RSPO throughout the year. Taken from RSPO.org

There is no denying that palm oil production has a negative environment impact, but it can be mitigated to an extent. It is looking like palm production is going forward to the sustainable way, as palm production that gains CSPO keeps growing by the year. However, the one thing that keeps holding the customer back to buy CSPO approve products are their premium prices. People has always seen palm oil as an economical option, so it is no surprise that they still prefer to consume the option that fit their budget. Ultimately, it is the customer’s decision to support the cause for a more sustainable palm production process.

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