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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
You might not cook with it, but you almost certainly eat or use palm oil.
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, found in many packaged products sold in the supermarket. While palm oil is the most efficient source of vegetable oil, its rapid expansion threatens some of the planet’s most important and sensitive habitats.
Palm oil grows in tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests for conventional palm oil plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable and biodiverse-rich forests. Plantations have also been connected to the destruction of habitat of endangered species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos.
But you don't have to give up products containing palm oil! Avoiding palm oil could have worse effects because it might take support away from companies that are trying hard to improve the situation. This could encourage companies to use other products that may have even more impact on the environment. Palm oil is by far the most efficient vegetable oil to grow as it takes less land to produce than other vegetable oils. Palm oil can be produced in a responsible manner that respects the environment and the communities where it is commonly grown.
Most packaged products are labeled with their companies’ contact information. Call or write the company and urge them to use certified sustainable palm oil and take other actions to support a more responsible palm oil industry, such as helping small-scale farmers improve their sustainability practices.