Commercial palm oil production has been associated with deforestation, biodiversity destruction and other matters such as conflicts between growers and indigenous peoples in some parts of the world where palm trees are cultivated.
This led to pressure being exerted on the industry to construct a reliable mechanism whereby buyers of the finished product could be assured that it had been produced sustainably. Consequently the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed in 2004. The Company is a member of the RSPO through its JV partner KLK. More about membership of the RSPO is available on our RSPO Membership page.
In accordance with the stipulations of the Company’s membership of the RSPO, the Company is working towards all its crude palm oil (CPO) production being sustainable.
In Liberia there is a domestic shortage of palm oil that the Company can help to address as we near commercial production. It is intended that some of the Company’s production in the short term will be used in local markets.
Indonesia and Malaysia produce around 85% of the world’s palm oil and are the largest exporters. However there are limitations on new land areas in these key territories. It is intended that EPO’s presence in Liberia, with the access that the Company has to land for sustainable CPO production, presents it with a significant commercial opportunity to address the increasing world demand for sustainable palm oil. In satisfying this demand, it will reduce the risk of the worldwide demand for palm oil being addressed in unsustainable ways.
Palm oil is mostly refined before it is applied in food or non-food uses. Palm oil is used in the manufacture of a vast array of food products and used as cooking oil in international markets. Examples include margarine, chocolate, and many processed foods found on supermarket shelves.
Major palm oil buyers are increasingly making a commitment to moving towards 100% usage of sustainably produced palm oil. Therefore, it makes good business sense for EPO to be at the forefront of the movement to increase the amount of global palm oil production that adheres to sustainable and responsible standards.
Its use in non-food products include shampoo, soaps and other cosmetics. In recent years, it has also been applied to make fuels for transportation and power plants and has been a core part of the “food versus fuel” debate as alternative fuel sources to petrol and natural gas are sought.