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This Palm Oil is Not Like the Others

“Conflict Palm Oil” Means Deforestation and Habitat Destruction

conflictpalm-300x268Orangutans are found only in the lowland forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Southeast Asia. The lowland forest habitats are disappearing quickly due to logging and deliberate burning in order to build palm oil plantations. Orangutans are the only great apes found in Asia. 60 percent of their diet consists of fruit, and protection of the orangutan habitat is essential to their survival. Scientists warn that orangutans could become extinct within our lifetime if their rainforest homes continue to be destroyed.

The Difference: Responsibly Sourced, Sustainable Organic Red Palm Oil


A sneak peek at our new look,
coming early 2014!

Nutiva Organic Red Palm is grown on small organic family farms in Ecuador. It is certified Organic, Non-GMO and Fair Trade. We partnered with Natural Habitats to ensure that no deforestation or habitat destruction results from the growing or harvesting process.

Natural Habitats seeks to empower and support farmers. Committed to the sustainable production of organic and fairly traded products, they also contribute to social development in the community through education and nutrition programs by allocating 1% of sales to social and environmental stewardship programs. Projects have included building a small health clinic and providing sports uniforms for the local youth.

The region in Ecuador where our Organic Red Palm Oil is grown has numerous small family farms, averaging 10 hectares (about 25 acres), interspersed throughout the regional forests. These subsistence farms were planted many years ago and are now being worked by second and third generation farming families.

Flavor & Nutrition

Some red palm oils have what might be described as a harsh or strong odor and flavor. We have a proprietary cold-filtration process that results in a delicate, buttery flavor excellent for cooking and baking. We’re often asked if our Red Palm Oil is raw. Fresh-harvested organic palm fruit bunches are steamed to release the oil from the fruit, then expeller-pressed to further separate the oil. All palm oil is extracted in this way; there is no 100 percent raw red palm oil. This process helps retain the wonderful nutrient benefits.

Our Organic Red Palm Oil contains the highest amounts of vitamins A and E of any plant-based oil. Palm fruit has a dark red color which comes from carotenes, such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene (vitamin A). These nutrients provide color to vegetables and fruits such as carrots and tomatoes. Red palm oil also contains at least ten other carotenes, including the antioxidants, tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E). The end result is a delicious buttery oil with a mild carroty flavor.

3 Ways You Can Make a Difference

team-palms1.) Participate in the In Your Palm Campaign, created by the Rainforest Action Network. They are calling on 60,600 humans to stand up for the 60,600 orangutans left in the wild. Upload your photo and it will be sent to 20 snack food companies that use “conflict palm oil” in their products. Tell the Snack Food 20 you don’t want conflict palm oil in your food.

These companies manufacture a wide range of popular snack foods in the United States and abroad that contain conflict palm oil. You can help by not purchasing these products or supporting these companies. You can also contact them directly to ask them to stop using conflict palm oil in their products.

The Snack Food 20
Campbell Soup Company
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
General Mills, Inc.
Grupo Bimbo
Hillshire Brands Company
H.J. Heinz Company
Hormel Foods Corporation
Kellogg Company
Kraft Food Group, Inc.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Corp.
Mars Inc.
Mondelez International, Inc.
Nestlé S.A.
Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd.
PepsiCo, Inc.
The Hershey Company
The J.M. Smucker Company
Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.

Learn more about the social and environmental impact of conflict palm oil by reading the full report from the Rainforest Action Network here.

2.) Symbolically Adopt an Orangutan or donate directly to the World Wildlife Fund. WWF and their partners are working to make sure orangutans and other species are conserved in well-managed, secure, protected areas, and in wilder forest landscapes connected by corridors.

3.) Make Sustainable Choices – Michael Pollan has said, “The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.” Our small, daily choices reflect our values, and collectively have a tremendous impact on the health of people and planet. Make informed and healthy choices by researching food companies and their practices, and looking for certifications on labels.


  1. Stop cutting the forests, we remain alone and we die suffocated earth! …

  2. This is a very controversial issue where some caution against any non coconut based oil. An independent, professional reference is needed.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Scottar – Thanks for the feedback. We agree that we all need to make careful choices about which products we purchase because we in turn support the people and practices behind those products. The RSPO was established to “transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm,” but at present, we believe the standards and level of enforcement are not high enough. We would welcome an independent, professional analysis. Our objective is to lead by example by responsibly sourcing, sustainable red palm from small, organic family farms, growing the relationships with our farmers and giving back to the community.

  3. Thank you VERY much for supplying so much info about the integrity of your product. As a professional chef, navigating the myriad of edible oils and pinpointing the healthy ones, both nutritionally and ecologically, can be extremely confusing!!! I feel good about using quality olive and coconut, but for a neutral and liquid and affordable option I was stumped. So your company has given me an informed choice. But I wonder, with increasing popularity, how do you keep up with demand from a sustainable model? And thanks again for being aware!

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      It’s the biggest compliment to hear that a professional chef enjoys our products! To answer your question, we will never compromise our values or processes. Our red palm will always be sourced from small organic farms without damage to rainforests or habitats. The “conflict palm oil” that comes from South East Asia is in response to demand from the top snack food companies like General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Hershey’s. These are very large corporations with huge worldwide distribution of products. At Nutiva, we will grow only in sustainable ways. Thanks for helping us revolutionize the way the world eats.

  4. This list is certainly an eye opener……..I try not to buy products with palm oil because we believed back in the day that it was an artery clogger! Also i was not aware that they were making palm oil plantations. Thank you for this info, it is appalling. I will look for the buttery spread at my Whole Foods when I do my weekly shopping.

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Liz,
      We are deeply concerned about how “conflict palm oil” is destroying rainforests and habitats, and causing human rights offenses. We encourage our community to know where their food comes from, and we are passionate about sustainability, which is why our red palm is organic, fair trade, non-gmo, and responsibly sourced. It is also important to us that we contribute to programs for social good. In Ecuador, where we sourced our red palm, we’ve contributed to building a local health clinic and supported the local youth sports teams. We hope you enjoy our new red palm products. Let us know what you think of the Buttery Spread! Take care. :)

  5. it makes me sick to my stomach what is happening to the rainforests…having been newly educated I will NEVER buy products that contain palm oil!!! TY for doing the right thing by providing Palm oil.

  6. I think your sustainable palm initiatives are great and much needed in a corrupted food system that puts profits over planet. A breath of fresh air!! A lot of companies are reducing their spread’s oil content and replacing with water. How does your buttery spread compare to butter when cooking? How about the oil content of the product, what % of your product is oil?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Billy, thanks for your support! Our Buttery Spread is made from a blend of red palm oil and virgin coconut oil, and is the perfect 1:1 butter replacement for baking or cooking.

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