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Economy & Business - March 2020

REGION: Facing major challenges to meet clean palm oil targets

Most notoriously associated with the destruction of orangutan habitats in Indonesia and Malaysia, palm oil production also has a chequered record in Latin America’s Andean region. In Colombia (fourth) and Ecuador (seventh), the region has two of the world’s top ten producers of palm oil, which is blended into a plethora of consumer goods from confectionary to cosmetics and biofuels, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Both countries, along with Peru, have seen the industry expand into areas where land ownership is contested, igniting sometimes fatal conflicts with local communities.

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