If you read our initial story, “The Best MCT Oil“, you saw that 1 of our 5 criteria for selecting the best oils was that it must be sourced 100% from coconuts. Because of the environmental destruction taking place when rain forest is cleared in order to raise palm, we simply could not endorse products made from palm oil. In that story, we also noted that the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) had created standards for the sustainable farming of palm, but we were not ready to accept that those standards were having any significant impact on the industry. Now we feel it is time to revisit this topic.
RSPO was established in 2004. When their 2013 criteria for the production of sustainable palm oil were reviewed by the World Wildlife Fund, the endorsement was not exactly glowing. In 2018, the RSPO released an updated version of the criteria of which the WWF said, “With the 2018 revision of the RSPO’s Principles & Criteria, the RSPO Standard now represents an essential tool that can help companies achieve their commitments to palm oil that is free of deforestation, expansion on peat, exploitation and the use of fire.” For more of the WWF’s position on sustainable palm oil production, go HERE.
You can download the 2018 RSPO certification criteria HERE.
Then Came Malaysia…
After looking at many comments and reviews of the 2018 RSPO standards, and writing the first part of this article, we were ready to consider MCT oil products created with RSPO certified palm oil for inclusion in our list of Almost the Best MCT Oil. Then I visited Malaysia and spoke with some people involved in the reforestation efforts there. They know what it is like on the ground. They are intimately familiar with RSPO. After speaking with them we remain opposed to any MCT oil created from any palm oil, even those created from palm oil meeting RSPO standards.
Call to Action
We call for immediate additional RSPO criteria that require palm plantations, at a level commensurate with their current acreage under palm production, to carry out the following:
- Actively/financially protect the remaining forests of Malaysia.
- Commit to no future deforestation or peat destruction, or the purchasing of land that was forest or peat prior to 2020.
- Purchase carbon offsets for 50% of all former peat and forest acreage that has been brought under palm production in the past 20 years.
- Financially support wildlife rehabilitation and repopulation.
Without such provisions no set of standards is acceptable.