Monique Van Wijnbergen, the Sustainability and Corporate Communications Director at Natural Habitats Group and spokesperson for Palm Done Right, joined the NutraCast to discuss the importance of a vertically-integrated supply chain and Palm Done Right’s purpose-driven agenda.
Palm Done Right is an educational platform that was created by Natural Habitats Group to promote responsible palm oil production.
Palm oil comes from the fruit of the African oil palm, Elaesis Guineensis. The botanical is found in a number of household products, such as dietary supplements, food, and soap — yet when produced the wrong way it can have a devastating impact on wildlife, forests, and communities.
“Expansion of palm oil cultivation has had really adverse impacts on the environment, but also on the communities. We've seen deforestation, we've seen wildlife habitat loss, displacement of indigenous communities, exploitation, pollution. And so that is really the dark history of palm oil development,” Van Wijnbergen said.
Van Wijnbergen added that while there is a dark side of palm oil, she is working to share the good side of the crop: “It’s very efficient. It's very versatile. It adds to product quality and product performance. So Palm Done Right was created as a campaign and a movement to also show that other side of palm oil and that there's a good way and a positive way to grow palm oil and that it brings in a lot of benefits.”
Palm Done Right works to protect natural habitats, provide fair wages, and foster strong relationships with their partners in the company’s vertically-integrated supply chain — something that has proven invaluable during the pandemic.
“There were disruptions but I have to say they were fairly limited and because we have an integrated supply chain and we work with all the actors in the chain we were able to adjust. So in that sense, we experienced little disruptions, but of course, you know, we had to have all people on board and rolling up the sleeves to really make sure things could continue,” explained Van Wijnbergen.
To see which retailers and brands are doing palm oil right, visit palmdoneright.com.
And to hear more about Palm Done Right’s mission, listen to the NutraCast in its entirety. You can also subscribe on iTunes here.
NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.