Girl Planting seeds

Sustainable trade as a means to protect biodiversity

More than 50 per cent of packaged products sold in supermarkets in the United Kingdom and many other countries contain palm oil. Indeed, palm oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world and demand is expected to rise further. Between 1980 and 2014, palm oil production increased 15-fold from 4.5 million tonnes to 70 million tonnes. Not only is palm oil widely used as a cooking oil in many Asian and African countries, it is also used globally in a huge variety of products, including food and cosmetics, and as animal feed and biofuel.  Palm oil provides an important source of revenue in many low-income countries growing the crop, thus contributing to economic development. Also, as an incredibly efficient crop, palm oil supplies 35 per cent of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just 10 per cent of the land. However, as more palm oil is being produced, it requires more land to grow on. As oil palms usually grow in tropical regions, which are very rich in biodiversity, expanding production volumes have knock-on effects on forests and natural habitats in parts of tropical Asia and Central and South America, and may thus result in biodiversity loss.  Read more...



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