March 29, 2018 / 1:12 AM / a year ago

Factbox: The world's most controversial vegetable oil

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Over the last decade, pressure from consumers and green groups has pushed big companies that produce, trade or buy palm oil to tackle labor abuses on plantations and commit to ending deforestation that is contributing to climate change.

Yet the small farmers who grow close to half the fruit that yields the edible oil in major suppliers Malaysia and Indonesia have been largely left out of efforts to make the industry greener and more ethical, industry officials say.

Here are some facts about palm oil and the debate around it:

Sources: RSPO, Malaysian Palm Oil Council, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Reuters

Reporting by Michael Taylor, Editing by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit

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