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Sustainable palm oil study

Every year one million hectares of rainforest fall victim to legal or illegal overexploitation. The habitat of the orangutans is being cleared predominantly for new palm oil plantations. Indonesia has now become the biggest palm oil producer in the world. One in two products at European supermarkets contains palm oil. Palm oil itself does not harm the environment if it is produced in a sustainable manner. In the pilot study it commissioned, PanEco managed to demonstrate the feasibility of successful palm oil cultivation on degraded land without negative ecological and social effects.


In partnership with two groups of small farmers, thousands of oil palm seedlings were planted in an area of 90 hectares in the Nagan Raya district in Aceh in 2010 and 2011. Project partner Socfindo, a well-known palm oil company, provided the small farmers with top-quality seedlings and also the accompanying training. In the summer of 2014 the small farmers had the first harvest.

Watch the Video of the RSPO: Sustainable Palm Oil


The pilot study complies with the standards and criteria of the «Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil» (RSPO). PanEco is a member of the RSPO, which means it can fight against the critical environmental aspects and social injustices of the conventional palm oil economy. The pilot study also fulfils the standards of Bio Suisse, the quality brand of Swiss organic farming.

In addition, the pilot study is also supported by the Dutch aid agency Cordaid and the French cosmetics company Yves Rocher. The project has also entered into a partnership with the local government and with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).