Found in a wide range of food products, cosmetics and biofuels, palm oil is the most produced and traded vegetable oil in the world. However, the sector also represents a major driver of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. SNV works with companies, governments and smallholder farmers to build inclusive and sustainable palm oil supply chains.

Global production of and demand for palm oil is increasing rapidly. The crop is mainly cultivated in Indonesia and Malaysia, but oil palm plantations are expected to expand across tropical regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, putting forests at risk.

In response to rising consumer concerns, companies and governments are making public commitments to source palm oil which does not cause deforestation. Smallholder farmers, who produce 40% of the world’s palm oil, often lack the capacity or financial means to make the required changes in their production practices, and therefore risk to be excluded from sustainable palm oil supply chains.

SNV implements a deforestation-free supply chains approach to improve the standard of living for palm oil producer families while reducing environmental degradation and deforestation. Our approach consists of identifying areas suitable for sustainable oil palm expansion, promoting increased production in existing plantations, building smallholder capacity to meet sustainability standards, facilitating smallholder access to finance, supporting companies to trace their products back to the farm level using smartphone technology, and monitoring forests around plantations with drones to detect and halt deforestation.

SNV is supporting activities in the palm oil sector in Indonesia, Honduras and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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