top of page

PALM OIL HISTORY

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with over        17, 000 islands, once used to be  covered in tropical forests until the largest of these islands, Borneo were taken over by corporations and palm oil companies with the Indonesian government’s permission. This initially started in 1968 when Suharto began investing in the Indonesian oil palm sector from which its slow growth began into the 1970s.

Rapid expansion occurred throughout the 80s brought on by the global demand for the oil which Suharto believed would greatly benefit Indonesia if its production and expansion were increasingly invested in. This was because, while Malaysia was leading the way in the oil palm sector, Indonesia’s greater land area and lower labour costs would soon make the country the leader in production.

The government soon converted several

million hectares of the country’s rainforest

into oil palm plantations to become the

biggest global producer of the oil.

 

Though not while Suharto’s time in office, Indonesia surpassed Malaysia in production and export of palm oil in 2007 and the industry now takes up over 16 million hectares of land in Indonesia.

Approximately 80% of all palm oil is produced unsustainably and it is said that the other 20% is 'supposedly' produced by ‘certified sustainable’ methods. We say 'supposedly' because much of that 20% is the Mixed Balance Supply Chain, which comprises of a

blend of both Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and Uncertified Palm Oil.

There are millions of hectares of degraded land which palm oil companies could use to plant their plantations on but many rely on felling rainforest wood to

fund their plantation and on degraded land there

are no rainforest trees to fell……

The RSPO started in 2004, this is the organisation governing member palm oil companies and responsible for encouraging palm oil companies to stop destroying forests and produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). In the 20 years they have been operating they have only managed to state that 20% of all palm oil is produced in a certified sustainable way. A questionable 20% in 20 years is a poor result due to many reasons including that their membership is not mandatory

so they have little power over the majority of

palm oil companies who are not members of the RSPO. 

palm oil free certification borneo rainforest

HOW BORNEO USE TO LOOK WHEN YOU FLEW OVER

deforestation

DEFORESTATION BY PALM OIL

deforestation

RAINFOREST TO NO FOREST

flying over palm oil borneo

PALM OIL PLANTATION IN BORNEO

deforestation from palm oil
bottom of page