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Fair organic palm oil by Rapunzel: sustainable raw material


Palm oil and palm fat, the products from the oil palms, can be used in multiple ways. That is the reason why they are in such high demand. From a technological perspective, palm fat is indispensable for many products and cannot be replaced. Rapunzel products such as Samba, Tiger cream and other nut spreads get their special, creamy consistency from the specific properties of this ingredient. 

Rapunzel recognized the need for socially and environmentally compatible palm cultivation early on and initiated the first cultivation project for organic palm oil in the world already in 1992 in Columbia. 

Since organic palm oil has always been central for Rapunzel as a traditional, high quality raw material, we have taken the further step towards 100 % fair trade palm oil.   

The next step: 100% fair trade palm oil


In the years since our first palm oil project we have worked on the initiation of additional projects. In doing so, we always followed the goal: 100% controlled organic cultivation & fair trade at the same time. Because this is the only future for this important raw material - for the local producers and the environment. 

The Palm oil project has been very costly and time-consuming and required many on-site visits from our agricultural engineers. But all this work was worth it: today, we procure fair trade, organic palm oil from two suppliers, from Serendipalm in Ghana and from Natural Habitats in Ecuador. With these two showcase projects we are able to cover the need for sustainable palm oil also in the future. 

Our contribution for 100% fair palm oil:
 
  • continuous project work
  • initiation and support of cultivation projects
  • on-site advise from our agricultural engineers 

In Ghana, the women traditionally transport the palm branches on their heads
In Ghana, the women traditionally transport the palm branches on their heads
In Ghana, the women traditionally transport the palm branches on their heads

Why are palm products so sought-after?


At the global level, the demand for palm products has increased dramatically in the last years. National programs for so-called biodiesel fuels have significantly contributed to this development. Due to these national programs a strong price pressure for palm oil developed. Over time, only monoculture plantations could resist this price pressure. This led to an unchecked expansion of cultivated areas especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries – resulting in considerable damage for nature, animals and humans. 

But also the social conflicts associated with the expansion of palm cultivation intensified in many countries. It is not surprising that this valuable raw material was discredited through these factors. 
Only a small portion of globally produced palm oil is used for the production of foodstuff. And only a very small part of this share is produced according to organic cultivation guidelines. 

At the international level, there are many efforts to determine minimum standards for large-scale palm cultivation. This may be an important first step, however this is far from a truely sustainable solution. 

Because from an ethical point of view, the use of palm products can only be sensible and reasonable if both the cultivation and the processing are done in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. 
Rapunzel palm oil is produced from the orange-colored pulp
Rapunzel palm oil is produced from the orange-colored pulp
Rapunzel palm oil is produced from the orange-colored pulp

Knowing where it comes from


For us, it is important to know where our organic raw materials come from. This is possible through our direct contact to the suppliers. The direct supplier contact makes it possible for us to demand strict, transparent social and environmental standards. Moreover, it is also the precondition for monitoring the implementation and the further development of the standards both through independent inspectors and our own staff. 

With our project work we want to show sustainable alternatives in palm cultivation and contribute to the formation of a differentiated, appreciative approach to palm oil in the public debate. 

Another important aspect for the expansion of our projects was the notion to secure fair trade palm oil not only for our own needs. With our fair trade, organic palm oil projects we wanted to establish future-proof alternatives for palm oil production and we wanted to create a venue that also offers this raw material to other organic manufacturers. Exemplary organic palm cultivation is already possible today. Enhanced with detailed social criteria and fair trade, this type of palm cultivation may be a model for future oil palm cultivation around the world. 
Rapunzel criteria for fair & ecological palm cultivation
  • no clearing of primary or secondary forest
  • protection of the habitats of endangered animals and plants
  • support of animal and plant diversity also within the palm plantations
  • 100 percent organic cultivation, no organic-conventional mixed cultures
  • integration into the grown, local structures, respect for existing land use rights and the rights of indigenous people  
  • easily verifiable producer structures and transparent process chains 
  • regular on-site visits of our partners through Rapunzel agricultural engineers
  • high, verifiable social standards
  • external monitoring and certification pursuant to HAND IN HAND fair trade standards and Fair for Life standards

HAND IN HAND

Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel


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