Palm Oil is essentially just another type of vegetable oil. Its derived from the reddish pulp of the fruit grown on African oil palm trees. It has become widely popular because it can flourish anywhere where heat and rainfall are abundant and it can produce 4-10 times more oil than other crops per unit of cultivated land. Unfortunately, it’s widespread use, and popular growing areas, have led to shady growing practices among some palm oil producers. These shady practices cause environmental problems like deforestation and habitat degradation. Most notably, for the Orangutan and Sumatran Tiger. These stories are enough to make any sane person wonder, “Why on earth would we support this product by using it???”

Well, like most things in life there’s more to the story….

There are sustainable and responsible ways to produce Palm Oil. In fact, the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) has been working to transform the palm oil industry to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Right now, it’s not.

In Indonesia and Malaysia alone, it is estimated that some 4.5 million people earn their living from palm oil production. Quitting palm oil altogether would create a massive vacuum in the job market for an already impoverished area.

Palm oil is in virtually everything that we commercially produce. If we quit using it altogether, we’re going to have to replace it with another vegetable oil (or change our entire food system…. Which, I’m in favor of btw, but I digress). Replacing Palm with other vegetable oils would require more crops to produce the same amount, which equals more land being deforested, which to me… doesn’t seem like the answer either.

If it’s grown sustainably, palm oil production can benefit local communities, and help to protect valuable species and forests. By using sustainable practices, farmers can increase their income by making more palm oil from less land. To read more about sustainable Palm Oil, please visit RSPO’s website

At Shirley Road Soap Company, we choose to purchase our Palm Oil from reputable vendors who work closely with organizations like RSPO to ensure we are supporting sustainable practices.
Palm Oil is an ingredient we use, but we don’t use it in everything. And it’s never a main ingredient. We believe in moderation and responsibility. If you would like to contact us more about our use of Palm Oil, please feel free to do so.

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