ZSL Reports on the Hidden Hectares of Palm Oil Production

1e8a66ca-1191-447a-b709-920a3b0ee0aaarticleimage.jpg

22 Mar 2017 --- According to the latest analysis from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) there are large masses on land used in connection with corporate palm oil production than currently are not reported - with several global palm oil producers failing to publicly disclose their total land holdings.

The international conservation charity’s analysis reveals almost one million undisclosed hectares “missing” from corporate palm oil land banks. 
 
Conducted by ZSL’s specialist SPOTT team (Sustainable Palm Oil Transparency Toolkit), the new report - called Hidden Land, Hidden Risks - found that many companies frequently report on the areas of planted land they hold, rather than the total land under their management.

This misreporting potentially excludes vast areas of land at environmental and social risk – such as undeveloped land that, if converted into plantations in the future, could be at risk of environmental damage, including deforestation.

Unreported areas could also include infrastructure areas (e.g. roads) where negative impacts must be mitigated, or areas set aside for the conservation of critically endangered forest species such as Sumatran tigers and orangutan, where positive impacts must be demonstrated.
 
Transparent reporting on these ‘land banks’ is regarded as a fundamental cornerstone for palm oil growers in demonstrating their sustainability commitment, according to the ZSL. 

Speaking with FoodIngredientsFirst ZSL’s SPOTT palm oil manager Izabela Delabre explains the importance of comprehensive reporting on land holdings and how essential it is for greater accountability in the palm oil sector. 

“Producers can’t manage what they can’t measure. While some companies are failing to disclose this information publicly through platforms such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), some may even lack accurate figures on their holdings,” she said.
 
“There is a lack of clear expectations on transparency and reporting. ZSL’s SPOTT initiative is working to bring clarity to this, by working with other stakeholder groups and reporting initiatives, to clearly communicate to companies what is expected from stakeholders in terms of disclosure of information.”

“There is also lack of understanding across the industry, including from investors, that unplanted areas are important to report on, in terms of assuring against environmental and social risks. Some companies might not declare how much unplanted land they hold because they may have yet to assess its suitability for development. Land may also be at different stages in the permitting process, complicating disclosure of total land under management.”

Stayed tuned with FoodIngredientsFirst, where next week we will be featuring a Special Report on the Palm Oil Industry. 

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Damning cocoa report: Decade-long efforts to improve cocoa sector falling way short, claims NGO

20 Apr 2018 --- A damning report into the cocoa sector claims that widely touted efforts in the industry to improve the lives of farmers, communities and the environment made over the last decade are having little impact. Despite many of the big players in the cocoa and chocolate supply chain working on sustainability issues like trying to eradicate child labor and stopping environmental damage like deforestation, the efforts of companies and governments have very little influence, according to the Cocoa Barometer 2018.

Food Ingredients News

Wasteful: Average American wastes 422g of food a day, study finds

19 Apr 2018 --- New food waste research from the US unveils the shocking truths about the amount of food tossed out every day and it is people with healthier diets rich in fresh produce that are among the worst offenders. Fresh fruit and vegetables were the most likely to be thrown out, followed by dairy and then meat, according to the latest insights into the country’s food waste problems, carried out by US Department of Agriculture.

Food Ingredients News

Impossible Foods makes its international debut in Hong Kong

19 Apr 2018 --- The Impossible Foods is launching its award-winning plant-based meat in Hong Kong, at some of the city's most beloved restaurants: Little Bao, Happy Paradise, and Beef & Liberty. Ranked one of the world's top culinary hotspots by Conde Nast Traveler, Hong Kong is the first place outside of the US to feature the Impossible Burger, which cooks, smells and tastes like ground beef from cows, but is made entirely from plants.

Food Ingredients News

Making agricultural sustainability mainstream: Olam launches AtSource

18 Apr 2018 --- Global agri-business, Olam International, has launched AtSource – a sustainable and traceable sourcing solution that provides unrivaled environmental and social insights into the journey of agricultural raw materials and food ingredients from the farm to manufacturing and retail customers. AtSource will also enhance Olam’s ability to assess and positively influence the environmental footprint of the 4.7 million farmers in the company’s supply chain, the vast majority of whom are smallholders growing crops such as cocoa, coffee and cashew in emerging markets.

Food Ingredients News

Lighter enjoyment: Trends and innovation in breads & pasta

17 Apr 2018 --- Lightness in alcohol content, sweetness, flavor and texture, as well as portion size, is gaining momentum in food and beverages as consumers continue to look for ways to eat and drink more healthily and light, yet still fully enjoy what they love. Innova Market Insights tipped the no. 2 trend for 2018 as “Lighter enjoyment,” and it’s evident how a less-is-more attitude is trending in a wide range of food and beverage categories. But how does lighter enjoyment translate when it comes to carbs, in particular breads and pasta? 

More Articles