Situation

Deforestation is order to create palm plantations is one of the major causes of the destruction of the important habitats and lungs of our planet in the tropics. The large and rising demand for palm oil worldwide is a strong force behind this disastrous development. Palm oil is extremely versatile and can be used in the food and cosmetic industry in a wide variety of ways- likewise in the Migros Group Industry.

Approach

Since Migros did not want to be associated with the destruction of the tropical forests, I co-initiated a project for them bringing all the interested non-governmental organizations around one table. When the Multi-stakeholder Organization Roundtable for Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) was established after some years of discussion and meetings, I was proud to put my signature to the founding document. Migros obtained their palm oil from sustainable sources from then on, protecting tropical forests.

Outcome

All the players in the palm oil industry try to solve the major problems in this market in a common and democratic manner. Even if it does not always succeed perfectly and much work is still needed, it seems to me that it is the only viable way to tackle the issue. The RSPO is an important mediator in the production of sustainable palm oil. According to their model, a Roundtable on Sustainable Soy has been established.