Making palm oil more sustainable
Palm oil has long been a major economic backbone of Southeast Asian economies, notably Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. But the undeniable environmental impact of extensive deforestation, haze and forest fires caused by oil palm plantations has given the industry a bad reputation that has been hard to shake.
To pave the way for greener practices and greater economic benefit from the palm oil sector, policymakers, businesses and consumers have key roles to play in supporting sustainable palm oil by demanding it, experts say.
Part of the solution is to help small-scale farmers adopt more responsible practices, which will make it possible for them to obtain global certification standards and gain improved access to international markets.