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In Session

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.

“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.

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