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Palm Oil Beyond Deforestation: Why Should Be Preserved

Palm oil field workers are collecting palm fruit into a truck

The European Parliament (EP) made a decision in January to prohibit the utilization of palm oil in the European Union (EU) for biofuel production by 2020. This action was undertaken with the explicit objective of preventing rainforest deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. The spreading of negative issues surrounding palm oil is prevalent in the form of "no palm oil" or "palm oil free" labelling and campaigns against its use by public figures on social media, even extending to textual teaching materials in schools, explaining that palm oil is not environmentally friendly. The deforestation caused by palm oil is merely a minor impact compared to the numerous positive effects that come with preserving oil palm trees.

In fact, palm oil is the most productive vegetable oil in the world. The Indonesian government has granted permission to use palm oil following the Food Law (UU Pangan) and the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) regulations. These regulations acknowledge the importance and benefits of palm oil while ensuring its safe consumption. Besides that reason, here are the reasons why palm oil should not be banned for use:

  1. Over 40 per cent of the global demand for vegetable oil is met by palm oil. Many companies choose palm oil as their raw material for production due to its affordability, widespread availability, ease of production, stable oil quality, multifunctionality, and sustainability.

  2. Palm oil is a crucial ingredient in the production of healthcare and cosmetic products because of its numerous benefits. It rejuvenates the skin, is rich in antioxidants, contains vitamin E, promotes healthy hair, is non-addictive, rich in provitamin A, acts as an anticaking agent, and makes products long-lasting on the skin.

  3. Palm oil also serves as a zero-waste commodity, where every part of the plant can be utilized to create various valuable and high-value products. It can be used for energy needs, such as biogas, biofuels (biodiesel, green diesel, green gasoline, and green aviation fuel), biomass derived from shells (heaters, boilers), and electricity.

  4. The palm oil plantation industry has proven to improve the economy of palm oil farmers and the surrounding communities who are directly and indirectly involved.

  5. Compared to uncertified sustainable oils like soybean, rapeseed, sunflower seed, coconut, olive, and others, palm oil is the only vegetable oil in the world that holds sustainable certification.

In this regard, Peterson Projects and Solutions Indonesia fully supports the use of palm oil worldwide. We strive to assist industries in obtaining certification for their palm oil products, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices and responsible sourcing. We can assist with many palm oil certifications, such as RSPO, ISPO, MSPO, ISCC, RSB, GGL and others. By promoting sustainable certification and ESG strategies, we aim to foster an industry that balances economic growth with environmental preservation and social welfare.

Embracing the benefits of palm oil, combined with responsible practices and certification, allows us to unlock its full potential as a valuable and sustainable resource for the world. Through collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement, we can ensure palm oil's responsible and ethical use, benefitting both the industry and our planet.


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