18 August 2015

The Netherlands pushes for 100% sustainable palm oil in Europe

The European Sustainable Palm Oil (ESPO) initiative is taking steps to achieve its ambitious aim of 100 percent sustainable palm oil across Europe, receiving strong support from Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lilianne Ploumen. Palm oil is the most produced and traded vegetable oil in the world, and an important ingredient for a diverse range of products including food and fuel.

‘The Netherlands are ahead in their achievements: by the end of this year we hope to have switched to 100 percent sustainable palm oil. It is time that other European countries also progress in making their supply chains more sustainable,’ said the Minister. If successful in Europe, Minister Ploumen hopes to roll out the initiative across the globe, saying: “European palm oil imports make up 14 percent of international palm oil imports. When we reach the 100 percent goal here, we may very well start a worldwide race to the top”.

Since 2000, the production of palm oil has doubled, leading to major deforestation in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. An increase in production is foreseen in the future, and if not carefully managed could lead to the destruction of natural habitats. The ESPO initiative, spearheaded by The Netherlands Oils and Fats Industry (MVO) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), helps farmers transition to sustainable palm oil.

For more information, visit the IDH website.