By supporting Eversfield, you are choosing not to support palm oil.
The Worldwide Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that 50% of packaged supermarket food contains palm oil. And it doesn't stop with edible products. Check your shampoo, your laundry detergent and even your lipstick, you'll most likely find it hiding in there too.
So what’s the big deal?
Sustainably produced palm oil could be a wonderful thing. Compared to sunflowers, soya beans and rapeseed, palm trees produce up to 10 times more oil per hectare. However, due to the crop efficiency, low-cost production, extremely long shelf life & high melting point, the world is going crazy for the stuff, and we're running out of resources.
The biggest impact of unsustainable palm oil production is the large-scale devastation of tropical forests. According to the WWF, an area equivalent to the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared every hour to make way for palm oil production. In Indonesia and Malaysia alone, a colossal 90% of the worlds palm oil is grown and produced. Worryingly, the rich biodiversity of these countries also makes them a fantastic home to a vast number of endangered species including orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos. Deforestation leaves these animals with no home, cut off from food and water sources, and destroys natural groups. Almost 80% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years, and in the past 10, we have lost 50% of the orangutan population.
Carbon & climate:
According to United Nations Environment Programme, deforestation alone makes Indonesia one of the greatest carbon emitters in the world. A natural rainforest can take hundreds of years to grow and flourish, but just weeks to demolish. The draining and conversion of tropical peat forests in Indonesia is particularly damaging because these forests store more carbon per hectare than any other ecosystem in the world. This has pushed Indonesia to become the 3rd largest contributor of carbon to the Earth's atmosphere, after China and the US.
Water, air and soil health:
Alongside the loss of critical habitat, significant soil erosion is becoming a threatening issue. It also causes freshwater pollution with this lack of established trees to restore the natural compounds in the soils. Burning is a common method used to clear forests for the plantations and, on peat lands, these fires can burn for weeks, releasing sequestered carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. The smoke creates health consequences in the people living there, who often have few other employment options than working on the plantations, with government focus firmly on the bottom line.
What can we do?
Whilst organisations like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil work towards genuinely sustainable production, we will not include item containing palm oil our product range. We believe all our organic groceries can be delicious without the addition of palm oil, so you won't find it hiding anywhere in your Eversfield delivery.
World Wildlife Fund
Orangutan Foundation International
United Nations Environment Programme
The Orangutan Project