Palm oil (and its fractions) is simultaneously one of the world’s most popular and unpopular agricultural crops. Popular, as it is an ingredient in countless food and personal care products, due to its versatility and low cost. It is also used increasingly as a source of biofuel. Unpopular, as the huge growth in the use of palm oil combined with the need for hot and wet growing conditions has resulted in oil palm plantations displacing millions of hectares of tropical rainforest, with an environmental cost in terms of loss of habitats and biodiversity, and release of CO2. Various initiatives have been devised to mitigate this including from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the recent pledges to reduce deforestation at COP26, and the substitution of palm oil by other oils. However, how effective are these initiatives, to what extent is substitution feasible, and how sustainable are the alternatives compared to palm oil?
Dr Eddy Esselink is uniquely placed to provide a detailed insight into the various issues and questions surrounding the sustainability of palm oil. This evening lecture is being held in memorium of Kurt Berger, former Chair of the SCI Oils and Fats (now Lipids) Group, who worked on the processing of palm oil over many decades.
This event will be of interest to anybody who has an interest in environmental and sustainability issues surrounding the production of palm oil.
The event will take place at SCI in London but we will also offer online attendance for those who cannot attend in person. Please tick webinar when registering (do not select both options).
Dr Eddy Esselink gained his first degree and then PhD in Chemistry from the University of Groningen before going on to Work for Unilever R&D for over 14 years. The latter parts of his time there was spent in the Group Supply Chain with a specific focus on sustainable oils.
Eddy is currently working as Senior Manager for Sustainable Development at MVO – the umbrella organisation for the Netherlands Oils and Fats Industry. Important themes are: sustainable sourcing of oils and fats, Chain of Custody requirements, energy-efficiency improvement, lowering ecological footprint, protein sourcing and the bio based economy. Eddy ran a multi-year programme (2016-2019) with IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative), focussing on a 100% sustainable European palm oil supply chain. These activities are combined with chairing the RSPO Trade & Traceability Standing Committee. Eddy also chairs the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil. Over the last few years, this task force has been successful in bringing sustainable palm oil to the Dutch and wider European market.
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