Natural Habitats turns palm oil production on its head

In Ecuador and Sierra Leone, Alfons Van Der Aa set out to develop a sustainable line of organic palm oil. A decade later, a few thousand farmers and several dozen brands make up the Palm Done Right supply chain.

Victoria A.F. Camron, Digital content specialist

April 18, 2019

1 Min Read

“My own personal objective is to get what I call ‘conflict’ palm oil out of the natural products industry. It doesn’t meet the values of our industry, but it is still prolific in a lot of products.”

—Neil Blomquist, Natural Habitats


  • The use of palm oil, a “hidden ingredient” in a variety of products that most people use, raises controversy because it is usually farmed without concern for the natural environment or the indigenous people its growth negatively affects.

  • Traditional methods of growing, milling and distributing palm oil make transparency impossible, says Monique van Wijnbergen, sustainability and corporate communication director for Natural Habitats Group.

  • Palm oil plantations can be managed in a way that conserves wildlife, provides farmers premium pay, protects workers’ rights and mitigates climate change. 

  • Natural Habitats provides a toolkit for brands and retailers to educate consumers about supporting sustainable palm oil.  

This session—Building Bridges Between Farmers & Brands—Revolutionizing Commodity Systems: Palm Oil—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019. Click "download" below to access the presentation slides.

About the Author(s)

Victoria A.F. Camron

Digital content specialist, New Hope Network

Victoria A.F. Camron was a freelance writer and editor contracted with New Hope Network from 2015 until April 2022, when she was hired as New Hope Network's digital content specialist—otherwise known as the web editor.

As she continues the work she has done for years—covering the natural products industry for and Natural Foods Merchandiser; writing up earnings calls and other corporate news; and curating roundups of trends and information for the website—she is thrilled to be an official part of the New Hope team. (She doesn't mind having paid holidays and vacations again, though!) Victoria also compiled and edited newsletters, and served as interim content director for Delicious Living in 2016.

Before working as a freelancer, she spent 17 years in community newspapers in Longmont, Colorado, and St. Charles and Wheaton, Illinois. Victoria is a Colorado native and a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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