Cargill to Review Palm Oil Suppliers' Sustainability Progress

This article discusses how one company (Cargill) is becoming more environmentally aware by shifting to palm oils that have been produced in sustainable conditions, it is important to point out that the reason why the need for a more sustainable way of cultivating palm arose lies behind a crucial fact: In the most recent years, demand for palm oil has been steadily increasing. In fact, as the article underlines, "Demand for palm oil, an ingredient in foods, shampoo, detergents, lipstick and other cosmetics, has jumped drastically in recent years, and in 2006 it accounted for 65 percent of all vegetable oil trades internationally." 65 % is not a small number, thus making it crucial that these 65% be obtained through sustainable means. It is also important to note that it is because of that increasing demand that, in an effort to meet the demand, farmers have had to rely on unsustainable means such as heavy deforestation. This fact is all the more important because it helps remove accusations that palm oil is, in itself, responsible for increased rates of deforestation. In other words, our modern society has forced palm oil to be labeled as "unsustainable." Cargill, "a private company and an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services," has pledged to have 60% of its palm oil come from places where it has been sustainably grown. This is yet just another example of a company switching to better sources for their palm oil. Notably, Nestle has also predicted to have 100% of its palm oil come from sources where it was sustainably grown. However, what I think is important to get out of this is that palm oil is an essential oil that can be grown sustainably, and has been grown unsustainably only because of society's high dependency on it.