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Palm The Palm Oil   By Nikki Wong and Anthea Low

 Palm oil is produced from the flesh and the kernel of the oil palm tree. It helps the economic development of countries producing palm oil and diets of millions of people on earth. Nearly everything found in supermarkets can be guranteed to contain palm oil.


Palm trees can grow up to 20 metres tall with leaves 5 metres long. They provide branches of fruits all year long, with each branch weighing up to 50 kilograms. Each fruit contains around 50% of oil which is hugely efficient. Considering they need ten time less land than other oil producing crops this plant can produce more oil with less space. 47 million tonnes out of 144 million tonnes of oil production per year is palm oil, along with soy oil and palm oil makes up 60% of world production.












Tropical areas like Asia, Africa and South America are continents where palm oil is found.  Today 17 countries produce palm oil although Malaysia and Indonesia contribute 85% of global palm oil production, where 4.5 million earn a living.




Where Palm Oil Is Found

The top five producing nations are:

  • Indonesia

  • Malaysia

  • Thailand

  • Nigeria

  • Colombia


About a quarter of palm oil production worldwide is used domestically, three quarters of which is exported. The main importers  of palm oil are Asia, the European Union and Africa


 Palm Oil Products 

About half of the packaged food found in our supermarkets shelves contains palm oil. It is usally used in baked goods, such as bread and biscuits, fried products like pringles, peanuts and chips, confectionary like chocolate and comestics products  like shampoo and lipsticks. 

How You Are Related

Who's againts us?

Although there are many organization againts unsustainible palm oil production, some people still believe that sustainble palm oil is not conveinient at all.

  Palm oil production in Asia and Africa supplies other countries with palm oil, the government would then earn profits. If palm oil production stops, the money would no longer supply the government and the citizens would need to pay more taxes. 

   Farmers who are happily in the palm oil industry would not easily give up their fortunate job opportunity.

They need to provide for their family with the money they earn, if their jobs are lost, how could they help their families let alone themselves. 

If we could find a sustainable way to produce palm oil, in the future there would be more trees still be standing in rainforest. Palm oil production could then continue a long time in to the future. Although we don't need palm oil because we have many alternatives to replace palm oil, unfortunatly none of the alternatives are cheap and efficient.

    Thousands of Bornean and Sumatran species are under threat due to palm oil plantations. These animals are not only losing their habitat but also a track poaches and animals smugglers. Consumers can really make a difference to these animals lives by speaking for them. These animals could then be far from extinction. Not only sustaninable palm oil can helps animals, but can also give back land to rightful owners of  natives in Borneo, Indonesia, South America and Africa are being trampled on by industrial plantations.

Future With Sustainable Palm Oil Production 

Future Without Sustainable Palm Oil

If nothing is done to make palm oil sustainable, many animals would not have a home. Species of special animals could be extinct. Orangutan is an important animal to the eco-system. During the past decade, the orangutan population has decreased by approximately 50 percent in the wild. This is firstly due to human activities including rainforest destruction for palm oil plantations.  Victorian zoos,Don't Palm Us Off quote,"Yes. Not all palm oil comes from areas where orang-utans are found. Zoos Victoria uses the orang-utan as a palm oil ambassador but the production of palm oil can be just as destructive to the habitat of thousands of other species. Ask for
100% RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil as it aims to be wildlife friendly. Human definately has the most impact on oranguatans health and habitat loss. Trees would also continue to be cut down and lost, the method for deforestation is a harmful way to the atmosphere.

Can We Help? 

How Can We Prevent Destroying Palm Oil Rainforest But Able To Produce Palm Oil?

Sustainable palm oil is produced without contributing to rainforest or peatland destruction, species extinction, greenhouse gas emissions or human rights abuses. The certification of palm oil as sustainable is run by the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The problem is, the RSPO is an industry-led group, not an independent body, so it is not a 100% guaranteed that palm oil is from a sustainable source. Currently only 4% of palm oil is RSPO certified.  Although we can easily say we can stay away from palm oil completely, it is easier said than done. Many products in Australia contain palm oil but we can't tell as palm oil can have different names such as:
-Vegetable Fat                                           
-Palm Fruit Oil #
-Palmate #
-Palmitate #
-Palmolein #
-Glyceryl Stearate #
-Stearic Acid #
-Elaeis Guineensis

So in conclusion, we can't completly put palm oil out of our lives but as consumers, we can make a big difference. We can purchase products from companies that support sustainable palm oil production and write to companies to show our concern.