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Palm oil is often synonymous with deforestation, pollution and bad agricultural practices. But an example from Sierra Leone shows that it doesn't have to be.
Project goal: Production of sustainable palm oil
Project implementation: Natural Habitat, a small company based in the Netherlands, collaborates with local smallholder farmers in Sierra Leone, who have been producing organic palm oil for decades. They don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides - instead they rely on traditional farming methods.
Project size: Around 1,400 farmers collaborate with the company
Project partners: Nedoil (Sierra Leone), Natural Habitats (the Netherlands)
Cookies, ice cream, margarine - almost every processed product in the supermarket contains palm oil, and global consumption is growing fast. It's big business for international corporations - many of which are looking to Sierra Leone, where some local clan chiefs are eager to sell land to investors and crop producers. As a result, many smallholder farmers are losing access to their land. But there are counterexamples as well: farmers who grow palm oil sustainably, without chemicals; and there are international companies like Natural Habitats, which buy their organic palm oil at fair prices. This allows the farmers to establish a decent and reliable livelihood.
A film by Ruth Krause