Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Palm oil

18 February 2015

A set of papers from the First International Conference on Global Food Security is now available online. The conference attracted 600 participants from 65 countries. All of the papers in the special issue are open access for the first year and available here.

23 October 2014

In this report commissioned by Center for Global Development, researchers at Chalmers University, Linköping University and Vienna University describe how international trade with agricultural and wood products is an increasingly important driver of tropical deforestation. More than a third of recent deforestation can be tied to production of beef, soy, palm oil and timber.

2 October 2014

This blog discusses the June Business Forum meeting organised by the Food Ethics Council which saw businesses and NGOs coming together to consider how industry and government discusses issues of food consumption and choice now, and how this might need to change.

20 March 2014

Chocolate company Mars has decided to join Unilever and Nestlé in their commitments to a sustainable palm oil sector. Mars signed up to the Roundtable on Sustianble Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2010 but now they join other companies in taking a step further, requiring all of their suppliers to have fully sustainable and traceable palm oil supply by the end of 2015. If this is not possible they will ensure that such plans are at least put into place by the end of 2015.

21 November 2013

Catapult, an organisation working to end trade in products linked to deforestation, praise the pledges made by Unilever and Ferrero to strengthen commitments to sustainable palm oil, going beyond the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards. Both companies are thus coming closer to the goal of sourcing only fully traceable, certified and sustainable palm oil.

13 November 2013

Forest Peoples Programme, Sawit Watch and TUK Indonesia has produced this report on the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa and their environmental and social impacts.  The report questions the effectiveness of RSPO standards (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). These standards in theory encourage oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. They also require member companies to respect the collective right of indigenous peoples and other local communities to give or withhold their consent prior to the development of oil palm on the lands they own, inhabit and use.

7 October 2013

This Oxfam report highlights the risks of land grabs or conflicts over land that could be taking place within the supply chains of some of the largest food and beverage companies. Oxfam argues that poor communities across the globe are in dispute or even being kicked off their land, without consultation or compensation, to make way for huge sugar plantations.

26 September 2013

This paper, recently published in Global Environmental Change, addresses the issue of ‘Enhancing the sustainability of commodity supply chains in tropical forest and agricultural landscapes’. It portrays some of the many interventions through which state, civil society and market actors can influence commodity supply chains, and provides a framework for comparing, planning and evaluating different interventions.

5 September 2013

This comprehensive European Commission (EC) study was launched in 2011 to assess the impact of EU consumption on forest loss at a global scale. The study assesses the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and provides a list of possible policy responses to create sustainable consumption.  

21 May 2013

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has recently finalized a review of the its Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production (P&Cs),  and agreed a new set of standards. RSPO founder member WWF is signing up to the standards but cautions that they are not good enough.  It says that using palm oil certified as  sustainable under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is no longer enough to ensure companies are acting responsibly.

18 March 2013

The Norwegian pension fund GPFG, the largest in the world and worth US$710 billion, has pulled out of 23 palm oil companies in Indonesia and Malaysia which it judged to unsustainable. GPFG’s investments in the palm oil industry are now reduced by more than 40 per cent.

12 November 2012

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) recently released a statement saying that by the end of 2015 all palm oil used in central Government food and catering services will come from environmentally friendly sources. However, Defra’s statement has come under fire from groups such as WWF-UK and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), who say the agreement is too weak and requires participation by other sectors to have a substantial impact.

9 May 2012

This paper finds that in 2007–2008, oil palm plantations directly caused 27% of total and 40% of peatland deforestation. Under a business as usual (BAU) scenario, by 2020 ∼40% of regional and 35% of community lands will be cleared for oil palm, generating 26% of net carbon emissions.

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