Today, The Oil Palm site was announced to counter online propaganda of NGOs against the palm oil industry and highlight the industry’s contributions to global economic development and food security. Palm oil cultivation is helping developing countries develop, providing an inexpensive and healthy source of food and is helping to increase living standards. And as one of the most energy efficient sources of renewable energy, palm oil based-biofuels are bringing new, clean sources of sustainable power to communities across the world. Palm oil is integral to lifting the developing world onto its own growth trajectory – one rooted in sustainable development.
There is much misinformation and many false accusations propagated against the palm oil industry. It’s time to set the record straight. Countries across the globe – from Southeast Asia and Africa to the United States and Europe – rely on the use of palm oil to create, buy, and sell consumer goods. From vegetable oils to high-yield energy efficiency pellets, palm oil continues to be embraced by both producers and consumers because of its high quality and low costs.
With much hysteria by Western environmentalists eager to paint palm oil as destructive, an honest assessment deserves attention. Some important facts about palm oil:
- JOBS — Palm oil creates jobs in some of the most poverty-stricken, undeveloped areas of the world. More than 3.5 million people in Southeast Asia are employed through the cultivation of palm oil.
- SMALL FARMERS — Many palm oil growers are small farmers, directly helping contribute to upward mobility and the raising of living standards in the developing world; in Malaysia, 40% of palm oil plantations are owned by such small holders.
- EFFICIENCY — Palm oil is the most efficient oil-bearing crop in the world, surpassing other biofuels such as soybean and rapeseed in per-hectare energy efficiency. Furthermore, palm oil emissions have been estimated to be about half that of rapeseed, and less than two-thirds that of soybeans.
- FOREST PROTECTION — Many Southeast Asian palm oil producing nations such as including Malaysia have met or surpassed voluntary forest protection targets. Malaysia has exceeded its 1992 Rio Earth Summit pledge, setting aside half its land as primary forest and 23% for agricultural use.
- REDUCING EMISSIONS — Palm oil, like regular forests, have a natural capacity to sequester emissions through its perennial leaves and closed canopy. Palm oil plantations also have an incredible lifespan – about 25-30 years – making it a sustainable crop with a built-in carbon-cutting mechanism.
In short, palm oil is helping boost economic growth, alleviate poverty in the developing world and increase efficient land use. Palm oil plays a critical role in developing the economies and livelihoods of both the developing and developed world. It’s simple economics: when we help the developing world and increase our energy efficiency, we help ourselves too. Palm oil is important for developing our future and sustaining our world.
The Oil Palm is dedicated to setting the record straight. But we need your help. Please sign up today and be one of the first to tell your friends about the incredible uses and contributions of palm oil. And check back for future updates – our future is counting on you!