Sustainable Palm Oil
Why we use TRULY Rainforest friendly palm oil and what you can let your customers know.
For many years we chose to use palm oil in our soap recipes. Because we are aware of the abuses of many in the palm oil industry, we have carefully selected sources for the palm oil we use. If your customers are concerned, we have some helpful information that may assist you in educating yourself and your customers so they can make wise decisions.
One of the key points I'd like to point out is that "palm oil isn't evil". Sounds simple enough, but in our current culture, many people either ignore the palm oil issue (perhaps just being ignorant of it) or make an "absolute" because it is such a tricky issue and many don't have the right information. We found that the article in the link we attached, is incredibly helpful, but it is lengthy. WWF is not a government agency, rather a conservation group. They exist not to push political agendas which can vary with "the wind", rather they have specific vision for conservation. Agree with their conclusions or not on various topics, one cannot deny they have indeed invested a great deal of time in gathering facts, and are rigorously detailed and balanced. Below is a few summary points that you and your customers may be most interested in:
1) Most palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia (page 20/21). This is interesting since most "sustainable oil" also comes from that region. How can that be? Well, we suspect that some of it isn't truly sustainable, but also that which is "sustainable" (RSPO) is actually just Mass Balance, which ultimately uses and supports the planet abusing standard palm oil networks.
2) Palm oil substitution is not the best way to "protect the earth" (page 26/27). Why? Because the yield of other oil yielding plants is much lower thus requiring much larger amounts of land to produce the same amount of oils.
Below are points are not supported by the article partially due to the volume from South America is low, however, here are some further points as to why we chose our source:
3) Organic sustainable palm oil from South America use less fuel when transported to the US.
4) South America does not have an orangutan population, and rainforest area is not required to produce palm plants in that region (there is plenty of area to plant not in the rainforest)
5) Palm oil we use is not just RSPO certified, it is Rainforest Alliance certified.
6) Most "sustainable palm" sold is very inexpensive but is a "mass balance" variety that supports unsustainable palm networks, and doesn't support sustainable palm networks. Contributing to sustainable palm networks will further reduce costs for all truly sustainable palm oil and "help the cause".
Much more could be said but we hope these points are helpful in considering an explanation of palm oil to your customers.