Can Ecuador do palm oil right? Jurisdictional RSPO commitment stirs hope (Mongabay)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  Ecuador’s oil palm industry has taken what many see as another step forward by committing to a jurisdictional RSPO system as a way to transform the entire sector by making it cleaner and more sustainable. But some wonder if a commitment to RSPO is enough, considering the industry’s questionable reputation in some parts …

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Community vs. company: A tiny town in Ecuador battles a palm oil giant (Mongabay)

WIMBI, ECUADOR - When Yessenia Padilla heard that her community crops were being destroyed, she and about 70 of her neighbors rushed out to intervene. They grabbed large boards, rocks, the machetes they use to harvest their fields, and took off yelling. She said that when they arrived, they saw workers from the oil palm …

‘I can’t get out’: Farmers feel the pressure as Ecuador’s palm oil sector grows (Mongabay)

LA CONCORDIA, ECUADOR - Jorge Jurado has been farming oil palm on Ecuador’s coast for almost 20 years, and has seen the industry go through many changes. But over the last few years, he and hundreds of other small-scale farmers have been hit by two major plagues: abnormally low market prices for palm oil over …

Colombia’s Cane Industry Efficient but Potentially Damaging (Mongabay)

CALI, COLOMBIA - Colombia’s Pacific coast state of Valle del Cauca, home to at least 80 percent of the country’s booming sugar cane industry, continues to rebound after excessive and damaging rains in 2011-2012. In fact, recent USDA Foreign Agricultural Services report found that the country’s cane industry continues to reach “historical averages.” The rebound isn’t …