Red Palm Oil: A Cautionary Tale

When you add fair trade-certified items to your personal care routine, you’re helping protect the livelihoods of family farmers and workers around the world. Fair trade is an entirely different way of doing business. It promotes sustainability and helps people in underprivileged communities escape poverty.

Red palm oil

Pressed from the fruit of the oil palm, which originated in tropical West Africa, palm oil is now grown mostly in South America and Asia. Most palm oil comes from commercial plantations, which are destructive to the environment as well as species such as the orangutan and its habitat.

Look instead for fair trade-certified red palm oil, How can you tell it's fair trade-certified?

It will be:

  • Unrefined
  • A deep, rich orange-red color.

This ingredient is hand pressed and extracted with traditional techniques under fair trade conditions. 

Red palm oil is rich in vitamins A and E.


“Alaffia Indigenous Resource: Red Palm Oil,”, 2013

“Cosmetics Industry Going Fair Trade,” Organic Monitor,, 10/08