So what is the solution to the Palm Oil crisis?
We are not anti Palm Oil activists yet we are not pro Palm Oil either, we feel the solution is a middle ground.
We are a group of 9 admins. We all vary in the way we live, some vegan, some vegetarian, some gluten free and some none of these. We do however either live Palm Oil free or choose to only purchase products containing certified palm oil. This is a personal choice. We do not push our views onto each other or onto the consumers. We believe that everyone has the right to choose, however consumers need to make informed decisions as to which way they wish to go.
We have had a few make comment on our Facebook Page thinking that we are tree hugging hippies, that certainly is not the case, we are every day consumers with business backgrounds. One thing that we all share is the same passion about the palm oil issue and understand that there needs to be a solution.
Boycott Palm Oil??
A complete boycott of Palm Oil is not the answer
Like it or not, The reality is, Palm Oil is not going to go away.
Calling for a boycott can be counter-productive. If you do not demand CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil), then the buyers won't buy it and the growers won't grow it.
Palm Oil Companies won't go out of business; they will just revert or stick with the cheaper unsustainable practices, because no one is paying them for a sustainable product.
They will sell all their palm oil to the big markets like China, India and emerging markets in Russia and Japan. It will not mean less deforestation on the ground, it will likely mean more deforestation on the ground (especially if they switch to another oil seed like soya which requires up to 10 times as much land to produce the same amount of oil!)
If somehow a boycott really did start to take hold (and for this you would need millions of people boycotting, not a few thousand), this may drive the price of palm oil down. If that happens, then the biofuels industry would really start to see palm oil as an affordable feedstock for fuel, and if the biofuels industry starts using palm oil as its main feedstock, then the forests of S E Asia are truly doomed.
Regulate sustainable Palm Oil
The production of Palm Oil needs to be regulated so that it’s not contributing to further devastation on deforestation, wildlife, habitat, the environment and the local native villagers who rely on their land to survive. The countries producing Palm Oil also rely on the revenue from Palm Oil.
What is the first step?
The first step towards sustainability and regulation is mandatory labelling of products.
If brands are forced to label palm oil then it places them in a position to source CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) or remove palm oil from their products as they know that consumers will boycott their products if they don’t. If brands are going to insist on using palm oil as an ingredient then it must be CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) . Please sign the petition for mandatory labelling HERE
The price of palm oil needs to rise
Palm Oil is widely used because it's the cheapest of oils, the price needs to rise. This will start happen if brands switch to CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) . This is where uncertified unsustainable palm oil and GreenPalm purchases are not helping the situation. The farmers and producers need to get more money for less crop.
If the price of palm oil was to rise in price, food manufacturers would no longer see it as a cheap option and you would find that many food manufacturers would remove palm oil from their products.
Place massive pressure on the brands
If a brand is not using CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) then consumers need to place pressure on these brands to change to certified oil.
Brands need to also know that if they do move to certified palm oil that their shift to CSPO (Certified Sustainable Palm Oil) will be supported by the consumers, not boycotted. Don't place brands in a position where they are damned if they do or damned if they don't. Encourage them to shift supply.
Just because a brand says they are using sustainable oil does not mean they are using certified. Email the brands, ask them to shift supply, tell them you will support their company when they make the switch, ask your friends and family to do the same.
It is very important to also understand that your voice will be heard if it's done rationally. Emailing of phoning companies hurling abuse will get you no where, you concern will be tossed in the trash and not make it any further, this ends up being a waste of your time and your voice will not be heard, do it nicely, we cannot stress this enough.