India’s edible oil imports threatens wildlife in Indonesia & Malaysia
|Posted on 02 February 2013|
|WWF India’s in-depth Report on “Palm Oil Market and Sustainability in India” shows
- India is the 4th largest oilseed producing country and also the world’s largest importer of palm oil Indonesia supplies almost 73% of India’s local demand of palm oil
- In Indonesia and Malaysia, almost a third of forest loss in the last 10 years was due to the expansion of oil palm
The demand for edible oils in India has grown steadily at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.4% from 2001 to 2011.
India is the world’s largest consumer of palm oil with 23% of the global consumption in 2011-12.
In 2011-2012, India imported about 7.2 Mn MT of palm oil. The growth has been driven by improvement in per capita consumption; however, the current per capita consumption levels of India are lower than global averages.
At the report launch, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF India said, “When forests shrink, so does the home of endangered species, such as the tiger, rhino, elephant and orangutan—species which are now on the brink of extinction. 15% of all human-induced GHG emissions are caused by deforestation, forest degradation and peatland emissions.”
Adam Harrison, Senior Policy Officer - Food and Agriculture, WWF said, When these forests, also vital to communities, are cleared, people lose their land and their livelihoods— sometimes even their homes. He further added, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is the best answer.
To avoid contributing to deforestation and social problems, palm oil producers, users and traders need to move towards sustainable palm oil. The report also, gives an overview of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and global commitments made by companies, such as Unilever, McDonalds, Cargill, Kraft, Walmart to procuring sustainable palm oil.
Darrel Webber, Secretary General of the RSPO comments: “The current consumption of palm oil in India well corresponds with the existing production volume of RSPO certified sustainable palm oil which stands at more than 8 million metric tonnes, which is progressively increasing. This means India is ready to play its part by establishing commitments and policies that will allow the nation and the industry to ensure sustainable provision of certified sustainable palm oil along its supply chain.”
Bhavna Prasad, Director Sustainable Business, WWF India said, “We are pleased that Indian membership of RSPO has gone up from 4 to 21 in the past year itself. We expect these numbers to increase further, as more and more companies become aware of this issue and also start meeting global demand for sustainable palm oil”
Notes to the Editor