19 October 2015: Palm oil alternative or a new business model? Solazyme to supply Unilever 3 million gallons of algae oil for soaps and toileteriesEditor's note: The peat smog haze is driving up palm oil's coverage in international media and online. Is the solution a new business model? Better certification? Banks acceding to sustainability rules? Or algal oil? Is 3 million gallons = 13,600 tonnes?
Yes, palm oil is destructive — but scientists are creating compelling alternatives September 19, 2015 · 11:30 AM EDT By Shannon Kellehe; ...Palm oil comes from the clusters of brilliant orange fruit of the tree Elaeis guineensis. It’s grown in plantations that span millions of acres across southeast Asia; companies often clear-cut forests that are home to endangered orangutans and Sumatran tigers to plant these trees. Between 1990 and 2010 an area of forest the size of 2 million football fields was cleared to make way for oil palms. Doug Boucher, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ tropical forest and climate initiative, says palm oil presents uniquely sinister problems because “substantial areas of southeast Asia have very carbon-rich soils, peat soils, with sometimes quite thick deposits of peat."..... These dangers of palm oil have caused companies to seek out substitutes. Scientists at the University of Bath in the UK are developing an oil from a common type of yeast that can grow on almost any feedstock. And the California company Solazyme has begun extracting an oil with similar properties from microalgae. Jill Kauffman Johnson, Solazyme’s Global Sustainability Director, says they prepare the oil in much the way other companies brew beer. “We feed sugar to the algae, and then put that all into a large fermentation tank,” Johnson says. “The algae then convert the sugar into oil, and it allows us to produce large amounts of oil in a matter of days.” Solazyme has a contract to supply the sustainability-minded company Unilever with 3 million gallons of this algae oil for its soaps and toiletries. “We’re also finding in a recent study that we’ve had done that has been third-party reviewed,” says Johnson, “the greenhouse gas emission profile with the algae oil produced at our plant based in Brazil, where he sugar source is sugarcane, has a lower carbon footprint than that of palm oil and palm kernel oil.” But despite palm oil’s problems and the promising alternatives, Boucher says the crop does have some advantages. “It actually accumulates carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the process of growing. So if you produce it in areas that are not forested, but rather you use already-cleared land, you can actually have a positive benefit from it.”...http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-09-19/yes-palm-oil-destructive-scientists-are-creating-compelling-alternatives
Sustainability: Paying farmers and preserving forests 9/16/2015 - by Jeff Gelski; Barry Callebaut, Zurich, Switzerland, issued its own sustainability report for 2013/14, which found 60% of cocoa farmers in Cóte d’Ivoire are living below the poverty line. Barry Callebaut pays a premium for “sustainable beans,” which it defines as being produced either according to a certification scheme such as Utz Certified or Rainforest Alliance or to Barry Callebaut’s own Quality Partner Program. Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, farmers receive a premium by selling Utz, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certified cocoa beans, said Taco Terheijden, sustainable cocoa manager for Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate. Under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, $19 million was paid to farmers in Cóte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana and Indonesia in 2014....As of April, 35% of the palm oil sourced by IOI Loders Croklaan was certified by the R.S.P.O. and traceable to the mill and plantation level, according to the company, a palm oil supplier and R.S.P.O. member with a North American office in Channahon, Ill. IOI Loders Croklaan added 96% of the palm oil and 65% of the palm kernel oil that it sources is traceable to the mill level. Archer Daniels Midland, based in Chicago and an R.S.P.O. member, issued a commitment to no-deforestation this year. The commitment includes no deforestation of high carbon stock or high conservation value areas, no development of peatlands, and no exploitation of people and local communities. .... Bunge has a global palm oil sourcing policy that involves the protection of high conservation value areas, the protection of peat areas, and the prohibition of forced and child labor. Cargill provided an update on supply chain traceability for the first half of 2015. Cargill has completed 9 of 11 planned supplier field assessments in its palm oil supply chain. The Forest Trust conducted the field assessments. The goal is to achieve 100% traceability to the mill by December of this year and to provide palm oil that is 100% traceable to sustainably managed plantations by 2020....http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Supplier-Innovations/2015/09/Sustainability_Paying_farmers.aspx?ID=%7B035B2B6E-A7D2-46E1-A19F-0415FAC28B71%7D&cck=1
A new business model for palm oil? The recent haze in Southeast Asia has sparked renewed calls for alternatives to palm oil products. In this interview, Forum for the Future founder Jonathon Porritt tells Eco-Business why the industry - which is also provides thousands of livelihoods worldwide - needs a new business model, not boycotts. By Vaidehi Shah Friday 16 October 2015 http://www.eco-business.com/news/a-new-business-model-for-palm-oil/
Why Sustainable Palm Oil Is Possible by The Nature Conservancy Posted: 10/14/2015 2:36 pm EDT Updated: 10/14/2015 2:59 pm EDT http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2015/10/14/why-sustainable-palm-oil-is-possible/
Can REDD save Indonesia’s peatlands from burning? By Chris Lang 14 October 2015 http://www.redd-monitor.org/2015/10/14/can-redd-save-indonesias-peatlands-from-burning/
Hit companies where it hurts by Henry Barlow Oct 1, 2015, 5:58 pm SGT The contributors to the haze appear not primarily to be the larger oil palm plantation operators but relatively small estates, owning perhaps only one or two mills, or independent mills depending largely, if not exclusively, on fruit submitted from smallholders. Many such operators and smallholders have no wish to comply with sustainability principles. Could the Monetary Authority of Singapore instruct banks operating in Singapore not to extend financing and trading facilities to companies linked to mill owners who are not in compliance with agreed sustainability principles as required by the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards? These companies should also be required to provide independently certified reports that they have assisted all mill owners and smallholders submitting fruit to their mills in complying with the sustainability principles of ISPO or RSPO. Other central banks in he region could also adopt similar measures. http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/hit-companies-where-it-hurts