By Louise Lucas
22 May, 2011
For something which ends up in such simple products as soap, fish fingers and cakes, palm oil has a tortuously complex supply chain, a fact food producers cite as a significant difficulty in attempting to source the ingredient sustainably.
The worldâ€™s most prolific vegetable oil begins life on tropical plantations; some 85 per cent hails from Indonesia and Malaysia. The fruit is then transported to crushing mills, from where the crude oil is shipped to refiners and blenders for further processing and then on to manufacturers.
Multiple links in the chain mean multiple opportunities for oils from different sources to be blended â€“ those certified as sustainable and those which are produced without adherence to environmental or human rights principles. Read the rest of this entry »