Palm Oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world in terms of production. Malaysia and Indonesia are leading producers, together accounting for 86% of global production. Although oil palm is a more sustainable producer of vegetable oil than other oil crops, there is a serious concern that the growing demand of palm oil for food and biofuel could lead to rapid and ill-managed expansion of palm oil production - resulting in serious deforestation.
A wide array of parties, including palm oil producers, processors, Consumer Good companies, Retailers, Banks, and NGO’s are therefore working together with the objective to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil. ‘Sustainable’ in this context implies that while using palm forests and palm forests lands, a balance is maintained between society’s demand for forest products and benefits, while preserving forest diversity, extent and integrity for future generations.
Palm oil is used in a number of products. The oil palm fruit produces two oils - palm oil from the fleshy mesocarp and palm kernel oil from the seed or kernel. Palm oil is used primarily in food products: cooking oil, shortening, margarine, milk fat replacer and cocoa butter substitute. Palm kernel oil is mostly used in the oleochemical industry for making soap, detergent, toiletries and cosmetics.
The Consumer Goods Forum and its Members have endorsed the work of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil. CGF Member companies will increase their support for the use of certified sustainable palm oil, whether these are in the form of Green Palm certificates or segregated, identity preserved supplies.
A jointly sponsored RSPO / CGF stakeholder event has been held in Beijing in July 2012. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness amongst policy makers and Chinese business of the links between palm oil and deforestation. A similar conference was also held in Washington D.C. in 2012.