The Palm Scribe

Greenpeace or GreenWar?

In palm oil-producing countries, including the world’s top producer Indonesia, Greenpeace’s recent series of actions, linked to a anti-palm oil campaign by a British supermarket chain and the boarding of a palm oil tanker ship bound for Europe, is being seen as concerted attacks on not only the commodity but also the country itself. Rome-based For Free Choice Institute, which as its name implies,  champions individual freedom of choice and responsibility, based on critical thought, is questioning where the environmental watchdog stands on the palm oil issue.
Greenpeace officially supports sustainable palm oil. They understood, just like WWF, that boycotting palm oil is dangerous. As a matter of fact, replacing palm plantations with another crop would only lead to a greater impact on the environment – including orangutans – and more deforestation. This would not improve sustainability’s levels in any way, shape or form.
As of today, the palm oil supply chain is the most sustainable one among vegetable oils. It is the only one seeking improvements, having recently started a strict process of sustainability enhancement.
The management of Greenpeace is well aware that transitioning from palm oil to virgin forests is inapplicable in today’s world. A transition from palm oil to the available alternatives  – sunflower, soybean, rapeseed, and butter – would only cause even more devastating damages to the environment and to the millions of citizens who survive thanks to palm oil plantations.
This is Greenpeace’s official take on the matter. Nevertheless, the reality is far from words.
Messages of Greenpeace’s militancy, especially in Europe, are extremely different. Their campaign, “Drop Dirty Palm Oil”, is an exceptionally controversial one. Rather than supporting sustainable palm oil, militants find it easier to attack palm oil as a whole (including the sustainable ones). Sit-ins outside supermarkets and boarding of cargo ships are not in favor of sustainability, but on the contrary, are against palm oil as a whole.
Why then provide the ‘orangutan cartoon’ to Iceland Foods, a British supermarket chain seeking visibility ahead of Christmas? Was Greenpeace not aware of the potential commercial use of video? Or did they know it? Was it dishonesty or negligence?
Once Iceland launched its campaign, supported by London media elites and European environmentalists, some local Greenpeace branches, including the Italian one, immediately re-published the video (translated), triggering a new war against palm oil.
The message is awfully loud and clear: boycott palm oil.
Is Greenpeace’s management aware of this? If so, they are dishonest. If not, they do not control their organization and should think about how to fix this severe management issue. By simply visiting Greenpeace Italy social media pages it is possible to see how the world’s most prominent NGO delivers its messages to the masses. Some comments praise tsunamis, hoping they will ‘wipe out’ as many Indonesians as possible. Shame on them!!!
Why are these types of comment not deleted? Freedom of speech? Indonesians are not free to do as they want at home, while on Greenpeace’s social media pages everyone is free to say whatever pleases them more, even mocking innocent victims. With Christmas just around the corner, Greenpeace can also speculate with a fundraising campaign. After all, everyone is nicer during the Christmas holidays.
Greenpeace’s campaign is a war against palm oil. This is not the way to support a sustainable supply chain.
Words may say one thing, but facts unmistakably portray another reality.
We ask Greenpeace’s management to confirm their official position with words as well as with facts.
Is Greenpeace for Sustainable Palm Oil or is against it? This is a crucial point because consumers and the whole supply chain, who have to invest time and resources to improve sustainability, need and deserve clear messages. The time of bleeding-heart environmentalism is over: Greenpeace or GreenWar?
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