Why so much “buzz” around palm oil
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding palm oil use and the repercussions it has on the environment, indigenous communities and orangutangs. Here is a brief overview of the issues that surround this beautiful exotic tree.
Where is palm oil found?
Palm oil, extracted from palm tree fruit, is widely used in foods, cosmetics and household cleaners. Grocery store aisles are abundant with refined foods that contain palm oil and it’s derivatives. Finding soap or cleaning products without palm is a challenge.
Palm in soap, a must?
It is entirely possible to make soap using other oils and butters. However because of it’s hardening qualities (less drying than coconut) rich lather and low cost, palm remains a base oil of choice when making cold process soap. Beware of hardeners presented as "substitutes" for palm oil, which are in fact, palm oil derivatives, often non-RSPO certified.
Palm oil is one of the most cost effective oils on the market. This vegetable oil has the highest yield in terms of quantity per acre, which explains why it is so widespread. However, a majority of industry producers do not include respect for the environment in their work ethics. This unsustainable approach causes several serious problems:
Intensive deforestation of ancient Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests,
Accelerated extinction of the orangutangs: in Indonesia, 90% of their natural habitat has been lost;
Displacement of local populations, loss of territory;
Loss of biodiversity, several animal and plant species.
What to do?
Fortunately, there are conscious people working hard for a sustainable industry. In 2004, the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ) a non -profit organization was created. The RSPO oversees the sustainable production of palm oil including legal management and exploitation practices that are economically viable and environmentally friendly .
RSPO ensures environmental criteria for plantations that avoid future loss of primary forest or other areas of conservation in order to reduce the harmful effects on soil , endangered species and biodiversity. Reduced energy and water conservation are also highly encouraged.
EcoSocial a fair trade certification that is reserved for products that comply with organic agriculture standards. The program ensures that workers are paid fairly for their work and no child labour is forced. For a complete summary of all the criteria , visit (http://www.ibd.com.br/en/EcoSocialIBD_criterios.aspx # 03)
At Coop Coco we proudly and exclusively offer our customers high quality, sustainable and equitable organic palm oil. The Coop imports from reliable and trusted producers from south America that are certified by the RSPO and Ecosocial.