Danish Alliance for Responsible Palm Oil

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is used in a wide range of everyday products - from lipstick to candles. Many manufacturers prefer palm oil because it blends easily with other oils and can be used to create products of varying consistency and characteristics. Palm oil is not only extremely versatile - it is also extremely productive, with yields far greater than other vegetable oils. Due to its many functions and low price, palm oil is today the world's most traded and consumed vegetable oil.

The problem with palm oil is not the product itself, but the way we produce it. It is therefore crucial that we as producers make critically conscious choices. There are ways to produce palm oil both responsibly and sustainably. There are ways to avoid both deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems. For the sustainable production of palm oil to become the norm, companies buying the oil must be willing to take responsibility on the front line and change their habits.

Unfortunately, it's not so easy to just replace palm oil. At least not in a sustainable way. In fact, up to 10 times as much land is needed to produce other oils to get the same yield as palm oil. This is not a sustainable solution.

So palm oil is here to stay, even to grow. This raises concerns about potential biodiversity loss and carbon emissions. Indeed, to make way for palm oil plantations, rainforests have been extensively cleared, destroying the habitats of endangered species such as elephants, orangutans and tigers.

It is not only the rainforests, but also adjacent areas that are negatively affected by the implementation of new palm oil plantations. Fragmentation, edge effects and pollution are some of the challenges faced. Furthermore, the conversion from forest to plantation releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, accelerating climate change. The consequences are many and the list goes on. It is therefore important that we take this matter seriously and decide to do something about the problem.