Despite what you may have heard, palm oil is very good for us. Among many other things, its consumption reportedly reduces cholesterol levels, slows the progression of heart disease, boosts brain health and improves both skin and hair. But what else do we need to know? The team here at Traidcraft Shop lay down all of the facts...
1. FairPalm is the world’s only fair trade, organic palm oil. It protects the environment while also supporting smallholder growers across the world.
2. Palm oil has the highest yield per hectare of land compared to other oil crops.
3. The oil has many functional benefits, including its stability at high temperatures during cooking. It delivers crispiness and crunch, neutral smell and taste, and stays solid/semi-solid at room temperature too.
4. Palm oil is one of the most widely produced edible fats in the world.
5. In the early 1900s, around a quarter of a million tonnes of palm oil was exported annually from South-East Asia. These figures have now risen to 60 million tonnes.
6. Palm oil has been part of the human diet for over 9,000 years! Archaeologists found a substance that they discovered to be palm oil in a tomb in Abydos, which dates back to 3,000 BC.
7. 40% of palm oil production is produced by smallholders.
8. Around 200 orangutans are killed every month because of deforestation, caused by the production of unsustainable palm oil. The forests where they live are destroyed and they are often burnt or beaten to death.
9. Figures predict that if deforestation continues at its current rate, all Indian and Malaysian rainforests will be wiped out by 2022 – which is why we need to be sourcing palm oil sustainably. When we consider that rainforests provide around 28% of the world's oxygen, this is even more of an alarming prediction…
10. Much of the unsustainable, non-fair trade palm oil plantations promote child labour and violate the human rights of many workers. Often children are made to carry heavy fruits and spend long hours collecting fruits from the plantation floor.
If you'd like to learn more and even have the opportunity to visit FairPalm producers themselves at Serendipalm, take a look at Meet the People's once in a lifetime trip to Ghana!