Palm oil is a vegetable oil, with a growing share of growing worldwide demand for vegetable oil. Since 1990, world demand for vegetable oils has increased at 4% per year; that for palm oil 7%. It is the world’s most popular vegetable oil and its most traded: 74 million tonnes were produced in 2020, 57% of which were in Indonesia and 26% in Malaysia.
19% of the world’s palm oil is currently produced sustainably.
Palm is extremely efficient in its use of land: it produces 40% of the world’s vegetable oil on only 8% of the area devoted to vegetable oil cultivation. And it is socially important, providing a livelihood and nutrition for smallholders and local communities in developing countries.
Approximately half of products found in a UK supermarket contain palm oil or palm-kernel oil, including shampoos, cosmetics, ice cream, biscuits, chocolate and cereals.