Ovaid is very aware that there is an increasing worldwide demand for natural resources which puts pressure on all ecosystems and wildlife and we are concerned about the deforestation, loss of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions which result from the unsustainable production of palm oil.
We recognise the fact that the economy of Malaysia and Indonesia is largely dependant on the palm oil industry and a blanket ban on palm oil would severely and negatively financially impact the citizens of these countries. Palm oil is one of the most versatile of oil crops , cheap to produce and yielding up to five times the quantity of alternative oils such as rapeseed, sunflower and coconut.We believe that boycotting palm oil would increase demand for other less efficient edible oils and thus have even greater environmental consequences.
A more responsible path would be to encourage a halt to deforestation. Individuals might wish to apply a selective ban on products containing 'dirty' palm oil and this consumer pressure will also ultimately influence manufacturers towards a sustainable, certified and traceable supply of palm oil
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP ?
Buy products that only contain sustainable palm oil and support the retailers and manufacturers that supply them - making it known that you are interested re-inforces the message that we want sustainable palm oil.
If you find packaging that does not specify the source of the palm oil e mail the manufacturer about Ihe issue and ask them to consider clear labelling that identifies where sustainable palm oil has been used. This can be to the manufacturer's advantage - we have seen products labelled simply 'palm oil' which we have avoided when it has actually been sustainable!
Encourage supermarkets and manufacturers to go a little further and declare their palm oil supply chain. Certified sustainable palm oil can be accredited in different ways – the best ones are identity-preserved or segregated sources. This means that the palm oil in the product can be traced all the way back to a certified source and will not have come into contact with unsustainable palm oil along the way. Many companies still use what is called ‘mass balance’ oil, where sustainable and unsustainable sources are mixed but are, on balance, more sustainable than not. This is a step in the right direction but we should encourage suppliers that they need to do more!
Remember, palm oil is not only in food – many cleaning products and cosmetics also contain palm oil.