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Podcast: Episode Two — Palm Oil

Listen to episode two of our new revamped podcast. This episode is all about the complex issue of palm oil. 

Palm oil is now in around 50% of packaged products on supermarket shelves, in everything from food to cleaners to cosmetics. However, its production is causing deforestation and biodiversity, so why are we still using it? 

"The question of palm oil is urgent but there is no clear answer. It devastates rainforests, ecosystems and communities, but it's in so many products that it's almost unavoidable. And should we be avoiding it? Might it be better to support sustainability initiatives? We'll talk you through the issues and hear different perspectives on how to tackle this knotty issue." - Joanna Long, presenter of Ethical Consumer podcast

Hear from: 

  • Jane Turner, our palm oil expert at Ethical Consumer, answers your consumer questions and outlines the problems with palm oil including the issues with 'RSPO certified palm oil'. 
  • Dr Izabela Delabre is a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, working on developing sustainable supply chains with rainforest communities.  Izabela was also an alternate member on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Board of Governors, and co-chair of the RSPO Biodiversity and High Conservation Value Working Group.
  • Colin Birch, our regular ethical novice joins us for a lighter look at the issue. 
  • Jenny Carlyle is from Suma Cooperative. Suma gets our Ethical Consumer best rating for palm oil. She explains how they got it and why it's so hard to boycott entirely. 

You can listen to our podcast on soundcloud, itunes or any podcast app. 

Want to know more about palm oil? We have plenty of resources including our list of palm oil-free products:

Send us your questions

Episode 3 of our podcast will be on fossil-free transport. Are we witnessing a cycling revolution? Is the world going electric? Send us your questions to or tweet us @EC_magazine

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