The story so far
It's versatile, cheap and prolongs the shelf life of food. So it's no surprise palm oil is a go-to ingredient for food producers.
But there's a dark side to palm oil.
The environmental damage caused by its production is catastrophic. Only 14% of palm oil produced is certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. And it's high in saturated fats to boot.
Palm oil is the most consumed edible oil in the world. According to WWF you’ll find it in about half the packaged products on supermarket shelves.
But you’d never know this, because food standards let food companies label palm oil simply as ‘vegetable oil’.
We don't think that's playing fair with consumers. So in 2012 we submitted these concerns to government.
We also backed the findings of a 2011 review that recommended clear labelling of products with added vegetable oils, so you can tell what kind they contain.
And that includes showing how it's farmed. Proper labelling would help you pick products with sustainably farmed palm oil, and avoid those using the poorly-sourced kind.
To follow the progress of palm oil labelling, sign up to our campaign updates.