Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, accounting for one-third of all vegetable oil consumption and used in a huge range of food and beauty products. While there is a lot of negative publicity around the production and use of palm oil, it is important to know that not all palm oil is created equal. Palm oil that originates from Peru is a very different story than the palm oil that comes out of Indonesia and Malaysia, the key players in the industry. Find out why Peruvian palm oil is a better choice…
No Burning of Peat Soil
Palm oil has been widely publicised for its irresponsible practices that have caused endangered species and widespread deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. However, Peruvian palm oil is only responsible for 1% of global palm oil production and it is manufactured through sustainable and ethical practices. There is no burning of peat soil in the production of Peruvian palm oil, therefore no contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil is deforested from old growth rain forests and does involve the burning of peat soil, which is responsible for significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
There are heavy regulations around palm oil production by the Peruvian government. They have set a zero-deforestation policy meaning palm oil production can only occur in areas where it does not affect the natural species.
Positive Economic & Social Impact
There is a positive economic and social aspect to the palm oil industry in Peru. The current palm plantations were initially developed as an alternative crop for coca’s leaf as a means to reduce the production of drugs in Peru. These palm plantations provide employment to local farmers, with 60% of Peruvian palm oil farms belonging to small- to medium-sized, independently owned farms.
Responsible Industry Growth
The Peruvian government has also got regulations to ensure that as the palm oil industry grows, it is happening in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way and within the guidelines of the zero-deforestation policy. There has been an improvement in forestry legislation in Peru, including the development of the National Forest Monitoring System to closely monitor deforestation. Using satellite imagery, the Peruvian government is able to comply with effective land-use policies and to ultimately make Peru’s palm oil cultivation both economical and environmentally sustainable.
Less Vegetable Oil Importing
Currently Peru is a net importer of vegetable oil from countries like Brazil and Argentina, where rainforest destruction is common practice. By increasing domestic palm oil production in Peru through economical, sustainable and ethical practices, Peru can begin to decrease the amount of vegetable oil they are importing and discourage production of oils in countries with less regulation.
With the rules and regulations Peru is putting in place in their palm oil industry, they should lead by example for other countries to follow similar practices. We can help make this ethical shift in the industry by choosing palm oil-containing products that have sourced the palm oil in a sustainable way.
Inka Roasted Corn from Inka Crops is a delicious snack made in Peru using only the largest, finest kernels and palm oil that is sustainably sourced domestically. Inka Corn is a go-to snack choice for us, not only because of its delicious flavour but also its conscious ingredient choices. Learn more about this tasty snack product here or find it inside the June Delight Box, which you can purchase here xo