Ghana is perfectly placed to benefit from the global rise in demand for sustainable palm oil, according to a report published in Citi FM online. However, speaking at the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Palm Oil Initiative Ghana Country Workshop, the Head of Corporate Affairs at Unilever Ghana, Gabriel Opoku-Asare, claimed that the country’s palm oil production is yet to reach its full potential.
“Even though Ghana is one of the leading palm oil producing countries, second in Africa and eight in the world, Ghana is still a net importer of Palm Oil. Ghana’s current deficit of 50,000 tonnes in supply could hit over 100,000 tonnes in the near future. This trend can be reversed and Ghana can become a net exporter of palm oil,” he said.
“Currently, most of the global consumer goods companies like Unilever source their palm oil as a raw material for their products from South East Asia. As their businesses in Africa have expanded, they import part of their palm oil from outside Africa to supplement local supply. This doesn’t make sense as palm oil is a crop indigenous to West Africa. But Ghana will only be able to access the large and growing market for sustainably produced palm oil if it commits to sustainable production.”
Unilever was one of the first personal care manufacturers to commit to sourcing 100 percent of its palm oil from sustainable sources, and achieved this target three years ahead of schedule in 2012. Avon recently updated its palm oil promise, setting itself the goal of using only palm oil that has not contributed to deforestation.