Over 50 million tonnes of palm oil is produced each year globally, supplying over 30% of the world’s vegetable oil production. Palm oil can be present in a wide variety of products, such as bakery goods, confectionary, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents and toothpaste. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this single vegetable oil is found in 40-50% of household products within Australia.
The way in which palm oil is sourced affects the sustainability of eco-systems, economic development and the well-being of millions of people in indigenous communities. The use of un-sustainable palm oil is becoming increasingly unpopular, damaging brand reputation and affecting the sustainability footprint of businesses globally throughout the supply chain.
Growth in palm oil production has increased tenfold since 1980, and now stands at around 50 million tonnes per year and projections see 50 percent further growth by 2050. (*1)
The area occupied by palm oil cultivation has expanded globally by 43 percent since the 1990s. As a result, food and non-food related companies are faced with increased pressure to prove that they have acquired the palm oil used in their products from an ethical and sustainable source.
(*1) Palm Oil in Australia - Facts, Issues and Challenges, Net Balance Foundation March 2013