Yes, sustainably sourced palm oil does exist


Photo: Reuters

RECENTLY, Italian scientist Roberto Gatti made headlines in Malaysia when he proclaimed that there is “no such thing as sustainable palm oil”. The only problem is that Mr Gatti is wrong.

Today, the palm oil industry is a vital, global agricultural player. While it occupies less than 0.5% of total land area under agriculture today, it accounts for 37% of all the oils and fats produced in the world and continues, in spite of the Covid-19 calamity, to secure jobs for well over five million people globally, most of whom are smallholder farmers who depend on this crop for their livelihood.

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