"I had made money trading in Ashanti for palm-oil
The EPA earlier said that its carbon accounting for palm-oil biofuel was based partly on the "incremental expansion" of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for up to 90 percent of the world's palm-oil supply, producing a projected 1.5 million kiloliters of biofuel for the US by 2022.
Sustainable palm-oil production has become a key concern over recent years in Indonesia, the world's largest palm-oil producer, primarily due to massive expansions in oil palm plantations that have resulted in extensive deforestation.
The species lost their forests to palm oil plantations and as they are deprived of their natural source of food, they are forced to eat young palm plants, raising conflict with palm-oil
But a lack of domestic demand amid rising palm oil prices has meant that five out of the nine firms in the Indonesian palm-oil
based biofuel sector have been using less than 10 percent of capacity or have stopped operations, the association said recently.
By some industry estimates, Indonesian and Malaysian palm-oil exporters took in about $20 billion in 2007 from global sales.
To improve palm oil's tarnished image, the Malaysia-based Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) - as the industry consortium is known - plans to introduce a system soon to certify palm-oil operations that meet strict environmental criteria.
Also, many consumers have written to manufacturers of palm-oil
products, urging them to buy oil only from environmentally friendly plantations.
Since Colombia hosts such a climate, palm oil sales have flourished into a US$350 million industry, accounting for 1.5% of gross domestic product, according to Fedepalma, a trade association for the Colombian palm-oil industry.
Soy producers in the United States have fought a decades-long attack against palm-oil producers, accusing them of selling products that are bad for the cardiovascular system, Mesa says.