I've received questions from two organisations at the same time about Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP), so I thought I'd write about them in case anyone wants to know more.
The question came from the first person:
What is the concept of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)?
The question from the second person:
Is there such a thing as sustainably grown palm kernel oil that you are aware of? Do you know of any certified organic smallholder farmers in Indonesia? I have a project trying to source certified organic palm kernel oil (if there is such a thing).
The SCP is about sustainably shaping the market from production to consumption. More importantly, it is about understanding that there is a whole process from production to consumption, and not just criticising the producers, but understanding that we are involved in unsustainable agricultural production. I think it is.
The demand for vegetable oils has increased by more than 5% per year over the last decade. This trend is expected to continue so over the next decade. If increasing demand leads to unsustainable the oil production, this will also lead to ecological loss, environmental degradation and risks to local communities, further exacerbating climate change and its impacts. As a significant trading power, the European Union (EU) has a significant influence on global markets and economic power. The EU-28 is also the second-largest importer of palm oil after India and China. The EU recognises the responsibility and opportunity to shift global demand for vegetable oils, especially palm oil, sustainable pathways, and the Amsterdam Declaration on Deforestation, published in 2015, calls for the private sector to stop deforestation by 2021 at the latest, but will it be achieved? This effort is being undertaken in several ways, including through certification. Certification of palm oil, which is generally accepted worldwide, is done under the framework of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
To achieve sustainable palm oil production, the Declaration will further contribute to the SDGs through partnerships with other global actors in the value chain. Aside from partnerships with other EU countries that have not signed the Declaration, the consortium will engage with other major importers (India, China) and producers (Indonesia, Malaysia, West African countries) to create global demand for sustainable palm oil (ESPO, 2017). It is, therefore expected that sustainable palm oil will become the norm for demand in the future.
Palm oil has been criticised for encouraging deforestation. In Europe, palm oil as biodiesel is banned, but in many cases, palm oil is used in food and cosmetics. The problem of deforestation caused by palm oil can only be solved by providing a substitute oil or by consumers correcting their high consumption. Besides palm oil, the Amsterdam Declaration also focuses on cocoa and soya. This is because cocoa, like palm oil, is thought to contribute to deforestation if left unchecked.
Tomorrow I'll write a story about small-scale farmers.