In recent times we have witnessed debates about whether we should remove ultra-processed foods containing palm oil from our supermarket shelves, due to their harmful effects on health due to their saturated fat. However, in Norway they have already reduced their consumption of this controversial ingredient by two thirds, but as a result of the country’s commitment against the deforestation of tropical forests caused by palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The parliament of the Scandinavian country – not to be forgotten, is a major oil and gas exporter – prohibited in June 2017 the purchase of biodiesel derived from palm by the public administration, expanding a prior ban in June last year of products that contribute to deforestation from the public supply chain. In the field of private consumption, the action of associations such as the Rainforest Foundation Norway has led several companies in the food industry to replace the palm oil for sunflower oil.

The growing demand for palm derivatives from Europe causes palm plantations to spread more and more in Indonesia and Malaysia, replacing rich tropical forests as carbon sinks and also in biodiversity, also negatively affecting the lives of local indigenous populations.