India is one of the largest emerging markets with a complex equation between its increasing population, widening income inequality and food insecurity, combined with climate vulnerability of extreme weather events across its diverse geography and rapidly depleting water tables.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of global supply chains and their intersectionality with issues of access, climate, gender and income. While international trade brings opportunities for employment and economic development, at times, it also contributes to negative environmental and social impacts in producing geographies.
India remains heavily reliant on the import of palm oil, which directly contributes to increased deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm oil is the most commonly used edible oil in India presently. While it remains integral to India’s plans to tackle hunger amongst the low income population, the current pattern of palm oil production harms the industry’s long term sustainability.
This report is a first view of the Indian market, and it aims to build awareness on palm oil sustainability, demonstrating the link between palm oil imports and deforestation.
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