Hand in Hand

Palm Oil and Human Rights

One of the most important issues surrounding the palm oil industry is about human rights. Although we’re sharing some of the main concerns , know that this is a complicated issue and there are many resources you can also consult to learn more.

What’s going on?

Palm oil plantations are mainly created in poor areas and are promoted as ways of bringing development to the areas. The palm oil producing companies are allowed (by local governments) to take land away from the indigenous people as a way to support the economy.

The deforestation process to create plantations leaves indigenous people vulnerable and dependent on plantation jobs to survive.

The people working on plantations are treated very poorly. There are impossibly high quotas that workers are expected to meet, so they often have to recruit their children to help. Unpair child labor has become a common practice, forcing many children to drop out of school.

There is little to no safety provided for any workers, children included.

Gender discrimination is also an everyday occurrence on palm plantations. Women are hired mainly as casual daily workers, denying them permanent employment and social security benefits.

To hear personal accounts on working in palm oil plantations, read here.

Palm Oil and the Environment

What’s going on

Indonesia and Malaysia are the leading producers of palm oil in the world. The production of palm oil in these areas are seriously affecting the environment.

The areas in Indonesia and Malaysia that are cleared to create palm oil plantations are extremely rich in carbon, which is the main problem environmentally.

Most of the land in Indonesia and Malaysia which are being cleared for palm plantations are called peatlands (carbon-rich swamps). When the peatlands are drained and burned to clear land for a plantation, the peatlands release carbon methane into the air.

The altered peatlands continue to decay and release global warming emissions for decades. Between 2000 and 2010, palm cultivation was responsible for 2-9 percent of worldwide emissions from tropical land use.

How can you help?

By continuing to educate yourself and spreading the word about the continuing issues on palm oil, you are helping. 

One of the most important things you can do is to buy palm oil free. Decreasing the demand for palm oil is the only real way to scale down the harm the industry is doing.

This is why we have always been a palm oil free company, and why we spread our passion for these issues. 

How Animals Are Affected by Palm Oil

We’ve all heard how destructive the palm oil is, but do we know all of the industry’s impacts? Today, we’re going to share with you how animals are being affected by the palm oil industry, and what you can do to help!

How Animals Are Being Affected

Because dense forests need to be cleared in order to build palm plantations, animals are being driven out of their natural habitats.

With less land to call home, these animals are more vulnerable to poachers and wildlife smugglers, who capture and sell wildlife as pets or kill them for body parts.

Because there is no dense forest to trek through, poachers are able to easily access their targets.

There are over 300,000 animals in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra left vulnerable because of palm oil production. Many animals are being killed, injured, or displaced because of deforestation.

Orangutan Crisis

In the past 20 years, about 80% of the orangutan population in Indonesia (the world’s largest palm oil producer) has disappeared. That means over 50,000 orangutans have died because of deforestation.

Orangutans are mainly displaced because of deforestation. Poachers will often find mothers searching for food and kill them, then take their babies and sell them as pets or use them for entertainment.

Other species the palm oil industry devastated are the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard.

Get Involved!

Luckily, there are ways for you to help! The Orangutan Project is dedicated to protecting the those being harmed by the palm oil industry. You can adopt an orangutan or donate to the cause, which includes preserving habitats, and care centers for orangutans.

Another important way to get involved is to say no to palm oil. Your purchase matters, so support companies dedicated to fixing the palm oil problem instead of those supporting it!

Get Involved with the Orangutan Project!