An independent look at palm oil in Indonesia

…oiled by Wageningen’s academic network


The sustainability of palm oil has been getting even more attention in Europe recently with fears of the impact of expanding palm oil production on deforestation, biodiversity losses and carbon stocks. Palm oil is an ingredient in a multitude of industrial and consumer goods worldwide, with Indonesia the world’s largest producer of the oil. European signatories of the Amsterdam Declaration are discussing with Indonesia how to phase unsustainable palm oil out of their supply chains by 2020 and the European Renewable Energy Directive commits the Member States to phase out financial support to bioenergy feedstock “for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed” between 2023 and 2030.  Around 58% of the production of this native African palm is in large national and private sector plantations, and around 42% on small-holder farms. Oil palm kernels are then transported and pressed in mills, and the resulting oil refined. Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of refined oil, exporting around 5 billion tons for industrial, food and biofuel use, equivalent to 84% of Indonesian national production. The national and international trade contributes around 8% to Indonesian GDP and represents around 13% of total national exports, with around 16% of exporting going to Europe.

I  was invited to join an the Agrinatura team with colleagues from the Institut Pertanian Stiper (Instiper) in Indonesia, CIRAD, and the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich on the Value Chain for Development VC4D project. We are investigating…baca selengkapnya