October 12, 2018

World Food Day | Don’t feed deforestation

It’s easy to see our food on the shelf without a second thought about its journey getting there. But we can’t ignore the damage that unsustainable food production is making, even if it is far from our plates.

It’s difficult to track every aspect of the food production and supply chain, even for a carrot grown just down the road. And being difficult makes it easy to ignore.

All too often we are distanced and disconnected from the origins of our food. This distance is harming the rainforest. One key culprit is palm oil production. In recent years its production has boomed as food companies find more and more uses for this cheap and versatile oil. 

Palm plantations thrive in areas with high rainfall in tropical climates within 10° of the equator. Just like rainforest. This puts the two in direct competition with one another. A competition that palm oil is starting to win. The economic benefits of palm oil are being placed above the environmental, social and economic benefits of tropical rainforest.

Keep rainforest standing

Global demand means palm oil is now the most widely used oil in the world. It is found in 50% of all packaged products on the supermarket shelves. Vast swathes of rainforest are burned to grow it, destroying vital habitat and releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Consumer pressure and changing habits is the key that will make producers consider more sustainable practices. Check labels, ask questions, and look for RSPO certified palm oil, whose producers must adhere to strict guidelines.

World Food Day | Don't feed deforestation
World Food Day Facts

By donating to Cool Earth you can help to stop the advance of palm plantations in Peru and Papua New Guinea. Help to make rainforest communities resilient enough to keep their trees standing.

By donating £5 a month, you’ll help protect an acre of at-risk rainforest every year.

Keep rainforest standing


  • Louise Collmar says:

    Hi! Thank you for your important work with protecting the rainforest!

    I have a question: do you have any statistics on how many forests that stay protected after your project in that specific village is finished? And how many years afterwards the forests are still standing?

    All the best
    Louise Collmar, Sweden (monthly supporter)

  • Shannon Kessell says:

    Hi Louise,

    Great question.

    We’re continuing to develop methodologies for measuring our success.

    For our completed partnership in Brazil, the land protected by Cool Earth consistently experienced a deforestation rate around 3 times lower than the surrounding area according to satellite analysis.

    We’re commissioning an impact evaluation on that partnership this summer so will have official stats later this year. We’d be delighted to share our findings with you.

    In regards to our current partnerships, we’re still working with the communities to protect 797,955 acres of rainforest and therefore do not have any data on post-exit canopy cover.

    I hope this helps. Please do email us on [email protected] if you have any questions.

    Kind regards,

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