The perils of palm-oil agribusiness



At the Providence Committee on Foreign Relations:

"Socio-economic Effects of Palm Oil,'' with Dan Strechay, on Feb. 21. Dinner event starts at 6 p.m. with drinks, followed by dinner, the talk and Q&A.

This Providence Committee on Foreign Relations (; event is open to both PCFR members and World Affairs Council of Rhode Island (WACRI) members.

Palm oil is tainted by environmental destruction and poor working conditions but global production is soaring. As the highest-yielding vegetable oil crop, global production is soaring, and also the cause widespread deforestation over the last four decades. In 2004, a group of environmental non-profits and palm oil companies joined together to set up the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The roundtable sets out eight principles, citing 163 criteria, which are designed to prevent the worst aspects of palm oil cultivation: illegal deforestation, chemical pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, destruction of biodiversity, water loss, poor employment conditions etc. With nearly 3,600 members, it is the largest multi-stakeholder initiative of its kind.

Dan Strechay is the U.S. Representative of the RSPO. Based in New York, he is now responsible for outreach and engagement activities to members and stakeholder in the U.S., as well as formalizing the RSPO’s presence in this important market.