About Palm Oil
Unlike other palm-oil producing countries, in Colombia there has not been major deforestation associated with its harvest. On the contrary, the harvest of African palm oil has been associated to the development and progress of communities that were once affected by violence and displacement.
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the mesocarp of the fruit of the Elaeis guineensis tree, native to Africa.
It is the most widely used oil in the world in consumer products and food, due to its organoleptic properties, versatility and low cost. It has been used for more than 5000 years and today we can find it in different products, from lipsticks and soap to bakery, ice cream and supermarket products.
Consumed and used in moderation, palm oil does not have harmful effects on health, as it behaves like many other vegetable oils.
What is the debate around its cultivation?
In some regions, especially in Southeast Asia, the cultivation of palm oil has caused, and still causes, deforestation. Due to high global demand, virgin forests have been cleared for its cultivation. This deforestation has devastated flora and fauna, affecting biodiversity and the environment.
On the other hand, these irresponsible palm oil plantations have caused forced migration of communities and violation of workers’ rights in rural communities.
Some organisations and growers have advocated adopting sustainable practices and conducting plantations that do not replace natural forests and that do not have negative effects on the environment or associated populations.
The African palm oil used in our products, of Colombian or Latin American origin, comes from crops that respect the environment. In our country, unlike many others, the cultivation of palm oil has also been synonymous with progress and development, replacing illicit crops and generating employment, quality of life and development in rural communities and areas of poverty.
Ensuring a sustainable palm oil
Due to the irresponsible practices of some African palm oil growers, it is our priority to ensure that the palm oil used for the production of our products comes from sustainable sources. To do this, we are subscribed to the RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a non-profit organisation that aims to unite all sectors of the palm oil industry and interested groups: producers, distributors, manufacturers and social and environmental NGOs, which has created a sustainable oil certification system (CSPO), which establishes criteria and auditing systems and aims to guarantee production that promotes cleaner agricultural practices, respects labor rights, indigenous communities, the environment and do not threatens biodiversity.
We follow the Colombian palm growing movement and organisations such as FEDEPALMA (National Federation of Oil Palm Growers), which brings together the Colombian palm sector and advocates for building a future based on the defence and promotion of palm growing activities, promoting development, progress and well-being of the country, its regions and communities.
For more information on the Oil Palm industry in Colombia, please visit Fedepalma. For more videos on the social transformation in the palm oil industry in Colombia, please visit: Voices of the Oil Palm in Colombia
Sustainable development around the
Palm Oil cultivation in Colombia
PALM OIL IN COLOMBIA MEANS LIFE
“For me, the palm means a lot. It is synonymous of greatness in the region. Thanks to this, my children could study what they wanted. (…) Another dream that came true a little while ago, was to know the sea. With the palm, we harvest future and become happy families ” - Eyder, palm oil farmer.