Over the past decade, demand for palm oil has steadily increased – and this growth has been accompanied by heightened attention on the adverse effects on the environment, biodiversity and local communities where it is conventionally produced. Yet instead of seeking out palm oil-free options, Monique van Wijnbergen suggests supporting a shift to sustainable practices.
“We’ve all heard about the negative impacts associated with palm oil, and we have a tendency to turn our back on something we perceive as ‘not right,’” says the director of sustainability and corporate communications at Natural Habitats, a company committed to the sustainable production of organic and fairly traded products. “That’s been the case with palm oil, but what about the millions of people who depend on this crop for their livelihood?”
In recognition that palm oil is an important ingredient – one that is versatile and adds to product quality and performance – Natural Habitats has the vision of redefining the palm oil industry, says Ms. van Wijnbergen.