By Asia Palm Oil
The People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze) has launched a new campaign to focus attention on how local food businesses are helping to alleviate the problem of transboundary haze. The Haze-Free Foodstand campaign hopes to encourage businesses and consumers drive greater adoption of certified sustainable palm oil as part of the global effort to end deforestation, environmental degradation, and exploitation.
Over 30 food establishments joined the campaign and are committed to using sustainable palm oil in their recipes, including Tung Lok Group, nomVnom, and Acqua e Farina, as well as a variety of home-based chefs and bakers.
Alexander Tan, CEO and founder of VeganBurg, shared, “At VeganBurg, it is important to us that our products do not contribute to deforestation or unethical labour practices. Early on, we recognised the problems associated with palm oil and made the switch to certified sustainable oil for all our products. Our continued partnership with PM Haze is one of the ways we are fighting for our planet, and we invite our customers to join us in restoring the world, one burger at a time.”
Nearly half the participants in the Haze-Free Foodstand campaign are home-based businesses. Many of these home-based start-ups have emerged because of conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for smaller businesses to compete.
Aelfira, founder of the home-based taqueria Chicas, said, “When it comes to protecting our planet, even taking the first step is important. We play our part by supporting certified sustainable palm oil and hope that it will eventually bring benefits, creating a healthier environment for our community.”
“We are extremely gratified by the response from Singapore’s F&B businesses. Through our many Haze-Free Foodstand campaign partners, we are spreading the word about sustainable sourcing and why it is important through our common love for food!”, said Benjamin Tay, Executive Director of PM Haze, “These participating businesses are making a difference by choosing sustainable produce and practices, and by recognising their efforts, are hope to inspire others – business and consumers – to look more carefully at how our individual choices impact the world around us.”
Palm oil is the most land efficient oil crop and is highly versatile. As a result, palm oil is found in many common household products and is the most commonly used cooking oil used in Singapore. Palm oil production is also an important economic contributor in South East Asia. When produced sustainably, palm oil can have a positive impact on forests, wildlife and the communities that produce the commodity for a living.
“Palm oil is an important crop, but it must – and can be – produced responsibly. Multi-stakeholder organisations with certification schemes, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standards, help the palm oil industry and consumers by giving users Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) the confidence that the products they consume are produced without causing harm to the environment or to society,” said Dr. Inke van der Sluijs, Director of Market Transformation for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).