The MesoAmerican Palm Alliance -MAPA- is leading the way in promoting sustainable palm oil production in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Working side-by-side, palm industry partners, civil society organizations and government agencies together are helping ensure best practices along all steps of the value chain to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability for farmers, communities, companies and consumers. Mesoamerica has the potential to become a leader in sustainable palm oil production, and the MAPA platform helps ensure inclusivity improve business performance, and facilitate cross-pollination and create flows of information and innovation to optimize the palm oil sector transformation.
Palm oil is found in hundreds of products we consume every day - from cosmetics to food products to fuel. This versatile oil is produced from one of Mexico and Central America´s fastest-growing crops. However, rapid growth and insufficient management practices threaten human and environmental well-being and make current production unsustainable. Palm oil’s explosive expansion in the region is fueled by the fact it is the most lucrative crop relative to the production area, which represents both a threat and an opportunity to smallholder producers.
How we got here
Mexico and Central America are considered to be a promising new frontier for oil palm expansion as the availability of suitable land in Malaysia and Indonesia become increasingly limited and global demand for palm oil continues to grow. Palm oil is by far the most productive of crop-derived oils, and can actually represent an improvement in ecological function if plantations are established on degraded lands.
Since 2010, Solidaridad has spearheaded efforts in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico to engage actors all along the palm oil supply chain, from smallholder producers to large-scale plantation managers and owners, as well as members of communities surrounding palm oil plantations.
Solidaridad launches MAPA as regional knowledge and exchange platform aimed at accelerating the uptake of best practices, creating an unprecedented scale of engagement in a private sector sustainability initiative, closing certification gaps for participating actors, and bringing innovation and improved visibility to Mesoamerican producers.