Early summer my attention was drawn to an article with the title “How palm oil became the world’s most hated, most used fat source”, written by Jonathan E. Robins, associate professor of global history at Michigan Technology University. The article was published right after the launch of his book Oil Palm, covering ten years of research of the crop’s history. This was only a month after Jocelyn C. Zuckerman’s book Planet Palm was launched. …


Photo by Alejandro Arteaga

In July 2000, the UN’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre recognized 17 megadiverse countries which hold the majority of Earth’s species and high numbers of endemic species. The term megadiverse has been awarded to those countries that have at least 5,000 of the world’s plants as endemics and have marine ecosystems within its borders (source: atlasandboots.com). Ecuador, where the palm fresh fruit bunches are harvested to be processed into Palm Done Right ingredients, is one of these 17 megadiverse countries. Ecuador has around 23,056 taxonomic species of animals and plants reported, which constitute the 6.1% of all species reported worldwide.

Last…


Photo by Ray Piedra from Pexels

Most of us use multiple cosmetic products daily. These products nourish our skin, make us feel good and help us get that special glow when we’re getting ready for the day. Many of the ingredients essential for making these products are derived from palm (kernel) oil. So, whether we realize it or not, this means we are consuming some form of palm oil every day.

Recently, I wrote a series of articles for Global Cosmetics Industry Magazine where I interviewed Gay Timmons, founder of Oh, Oh Organics. Gay is very passionate about greening the ingredient supply chain for cosmetics manufacturers…


Linne’s two-toed sloths at Denver Zoo

“A zoo is a place that combines the idea of preserving the environment and the role that humans play in that preservation,” says Dr. Amy Harrison-Levine, Director of Field Conservation Programs at Denver Zoo. I interviewed her earlier this year as we engaged in a partnership between Denver Zoo and Palm Done Right. This collaboration has shaped over our shared mission to encourage people to change their behaviors and make different choices to protect wildlife.

Field Conservation
A little over 21 years ago, Dr. Amy Harrison-Levine started working for Denver Zoo. After working in educational roles for 10 years she got…


I have to admit, I never gave much thought to the candles I burned in my home. Until Palm Done Right brand partner Way Out Wax launched their organic palm wax candles. Although my candles burned fast, dripped excessively and released black smoke, I still continued my routine candle buying behavior. When I ran out of supplies, I just bought a new stack of candles rather mindlessly. Working with Way Out Wax and talking to New York based candle makers KEAP, made me want to dig into the candle industry.

Paraffin reliance
Wax is the largest component of candles. It is…


Fresh fruit bunches harvested in an Ecuadorian farm.

In a recent article the oil palm was presented as a Shiva of the modern consumer economy, “a great creator and a great destroyer”. The article explains how oil palm created and continues to create wellbeing for millions of people by contributing to developing local economies and eradicating poverty. But, as we know, the fast development of the sector has turned the oil palm into a destroyer as well, encroaching into natural ecosystems.

The article explores one way to reset our relationship with the oil palm, finding an approach to produce more oil on less land. Important, considering the projected…


Smallholder palm plantation in Ecuador

Last month I was invited to do two presentations at my son’s school. The theme was “Sustainable Development”, with a focus on how we can create positive impact working from new business and collaboration models. The goal: to inspire these 17-year-old students as they choose the next step in their education and motivate them to become leaders of change in the near future.

While preparing for my sessions I realized how the subject palm oil would spur some interesting debates. This generation is aware of the destruction palm oil causes in rainforests and wildlife habitats, yet unaware of the role…


Ricardo Mejía and his daughter Evelyn, owners of Estefania farm

David Attenborough’s recent documentary “A Life on Our Planet” offers the sobering view of the decline of our planet during his generation’s lifetime. The burden of conventional agriculture on nature and its diversity of species is astounding.

Yet, the documentary also presents solutions for reversing agricultural damage by creating more diverse landscapes and working with nature as “our biggest ally and inspiration”. A new generation of farmers is taking the lead.

Nutritionist and farmer
During my trip to Ecuador earlier this month, to meet with our teams and talk to Palm Done Right farmers, I met with Ricardo Mejía and his…


A Gem Anole strolling the Mindo Cloudforest in Ecuador

Are we able to fully grasp the beauty and importance of all wildlife, including the tiniest, sometimes invisible creatures that are crucial for our living planet? When we think of wildlife often images of mammals and colorful birds come to mind, like the iconic orangutan. Amphibians and reptiles are usually not the first creatures we think of. Yet, they can be strikingly beautiful in color and extraordinary in shape. And they are important indicators of a healthy ecosystem.

The agricultural burden
Agricultural development and nature often clash. Deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction continue to have a negative impact on biodiversity and…


Freshly harvested palm fruit

Is there such a thing as sustainable palm oil? And if so, what does it look like? This was the central question for a podcast interview I had with Robin Hicks, deputy editor of Eco-Business, a Singapore based news platform on sustainable development. Recent attention for a scientific paper in which co-author Roberto Gatti argues that sustainable palm oil doesn’t exist, and that the term is misleading for consumers, spurred another debate about the reality of sustainable palm oil.

What sustainable palm oil looks like
Sustainable palm oil is deforestation-free, wildlife friendly, fair & social. It means we protect forests and…

Monique van Wijnbergen

Palm Done Right Spokesperson | Organic, Deforestion- Free, Wildlife Friendly, Fair & Social Palm Oil | Natural Habitats | www.palmdoneright.com

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