Palm oil, used mainly and on a massive scale today by the agri-food and cosmetic industries, is severely criticised.
Thanks to its high yield and very interesting physical properties for these industries, palm oil is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world. With 62 million tonnes produced annually, it represents 38% of the world production of vegetable oil but occupies less than 10% of the surface of vegetable oil crops. Indonesia and Malaysia are the main producers and provide 85% of palm oil1.
However, oil palm cultivation is accused of contributing significantly to the destruction of primary forests, mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia, causing irreversible harm to biodiversity and huge fires, with extremely serious health consequences on local populations and on those of neighbouring countries. Oil palm cultivation also gives rise to many social conflicts due to the non-respect of local communities’ rights to their land, and this holds true for all producing countries.DP023 PALM OIL _THE ENVIRONMENTAL DILEMMA