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1. Use case Market transformation towards Sustainable Palm Oil in India
2. Purpose:
Create an ‘open source’ system/platform to make data related to sustainable palm oil
readily and periodically available for specific products, across brands
Develop an initiative for actively communicating with and engaging Indian youth
millennials to drive the demand for sustainable palm oil
3. Problem Summary:
In spite of being the largest importer and second largest consumer of palm oil globally, the
uptake of sustainable palm oil (oil palm that is certified sustainable) in India remains
extremely low, and related data publicly unavailable. This hampers public visibility and stifles
awareness about sustainable palm oil in India among various stakeholders. Further, consumers
especially youth in India are increasingly driving buying decision-making (especially in
consumer facing segments like fashion, apparel, retail, electronics, etc.), yet remain poorly
informed about the social and environmental impacts of unsustainably sourced palm oil. This is
a lost opportunity as far as market transformation towards sustainable palm oil is concerned,
especially by engaging youth millennials.
One of the key challenges in enabling better uptake of sustainable palm oil is price sensitivity in
this extremely competitive market (edible oil market) in India. The other challenge is that over
95% of the palm oil used/consumed in India is imported (mainly from Indonesia and
Malaysia). There is low awareness about adverse impacts of unchecked palm oil expansion on
forests and biodiversity (especially rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia). Finally it is not
common knowledge that palm oil is used across most consumer goods that we use on a daily
The Sustainable Palm Oil Coalition for India (I-SPOC, www.indiaspoc.og) is an industry-driven
multistakeholder platform that has been supporting market transformation towards
sustainable palm oil in India since the last three years. This platform has been established to
share knowledge, expertise and promote dialogue and action to support this transformation.
Effectiveness of I-SPOC to drive production and trade of sustainable palm oil can be augmented
by enabling easier availability and traceability of data related to sustainable palm oil (trade and
production related supply chain).
Boosting demand for use of sustainable palm oil by involving the youth millennials offers
possible market transformation opportunities. Youth millennials worldwide and in India too,
are taking active interest in fighting environmental and climate related challenges. Establishing
the linkage between sustainable palm oil and biodiversity conservation, climate can help
attract youth attention and possible action on this issue. Selecting few (FMCG and QSR)
products that use high volumes of palm oil and tracking performance of brands in using
sustainable palm oil for these products, will provide useful data for engaging and mobilizing
the youth millennials.
4. Foreseeable Impact:
a. Tangible Impact
Better awareness on sustainable palm oil among key actors
Greater volume of sustainable palm oil use/consumption
Youth millennials drive select FMCG companies and QSR brands to act
b. Intangible Impact
Demonstrate India’s ability as a consumer country to drive production and trade of
sustainable palm oil, especially the private sector
Contribution towards deforestation free palm supply chain and combat climate change
5. Features in the Solution:
The solution must be:
• Easily and publicly available
• Modular (allow different players in the value chain to voluntarily add info on
sustainable palm oil, as it is available to improve traceability)_
• Verification mechanism (may include blockchain, audits if required)
• Effective over a long-term period
• Can be used by a wide variety of users/actors
• Leads to measurable outcomes/results
6. Additional features recommended:
7. Key Challenges to consider
Cultural and health related perceptions about Palm Oil in India
8. Key Deliverables:
An open source platform
An initiative designed for engaging youth millennials on SPO