How Norway learned to stop the use of palm oil in its products

Palm oil makes headlines throughout the world for the massive deforestation that is being caused by the industry. While globally people are now awakening to this fact, action is required on an international level the world over.

One country that has taken all out action is Norway. Today, all food products in Norway are produced without palm oil or extremely negligible amounts of it.

The move by Norway is in part due to a successful campaign, launched by the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) around seven years ago, that mobilised public pressure to expose the link between palm oil production, deforestation and social conflicts in Indonesia and Malaysia; to reduce the Norwegian consumption of palm oil in foods; and to make Norwegian food producers demand traceability and transparency from their palm oil supplier.

When the RFN launched the campaign, they also gave consumers a chance to sign a petition asking food producers to stop using palm oil in their products. The petition had the slogan, “Do not eat the rainforest”, and was clearly linked to every food product containing palm oil.

Between 2011 and 2012, Norway’s consumption of palm oil dropped by more than 60 percent after the campaign urged consumers to stop “eating the rainforest”.

Norwegian food producers used 15,000 tonnes of palm oil in 2011. Following the Rainforest Foundation’s campaign, Norway’s consumption of palm oil in food products was reduced by two-thirds in 2012, with eight major food producers cutting their use of palm oil by 9,600 tonnes.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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