Oil palms only grow in the tropics, primarily Indonesia & Malaysia, where their cultivation has produced many negative side effects for local populations and the environment.
As oil palm cultivation has grown, a rising number of local communities are becoming displaced as an effect. Many plantation workers have suffered violations to their rights, including unfair payment and unsafe working conditions.
The expansion of oil palm plantations has also led to the cultivation of land previously covered with peat-swamp forests, primary forests or other high conservation value areas. Such areas, already under pressure from other factors such as commercial logging, are often highly valued for their biodiversity and their capacity to sequester carbon dioxide. Forest parcels are sometimes cleared by fires, which can burn out of control.
Sustainable palm oil is produced without these negative social and environmental side effects.