World Bank’s New Anti-Poor and Anti-Free Trade Palm Oil Policy

WASHINGTON, DC - World Growth today released a comprehensive analysis of the recently released World Bank Group framework for engagement in the palm oil sector.  The analysis finds that the framework will negatively impact the growth and development of the palm oil industry in developing nations moving the Bank further and further away from its original mandate to reduce poverty and encourage economic growth.  The new policy positions the Bank to be the new global czar for sustainability and the environment, affirms a formal partnership with WWF ‘s recently announced goal to control food markets and hinders efforts to expand food production to meet the growing global demand and rising food prices.

“The World Bank’s new framework for investment in palm oil will transform the Bank from a development agency to a global sustainability agency, supporting only public and private investors that meet strict environmental and social criteria developed in partnership with WWF. This will constrain small holders, and disadvantage access by small and medium-sized producers to capital markets.

“Furthermore, the Bank has effectively endorsed the WWF-led Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as the only acceptable standard for sustainability.  The Bank’s new policy will rule out recognition of national certification systems, such as that currently being developed in Indonesia.

“What’s more concerning is the abandonment by the World Bank of free trade and free markets. The Bank has become a willing partner in WWF’s anti-free market campaign to use trade coercion and capture supply chains to dictate adoption of its anti-growth policies in the trade and production of food.”

Click here to read the analysis, World Bank’s New Anti Poor Palm Oil Policy.

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World Growth is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established to expand the research, information, advocacy, and other resources to improve the economic conditions and living standards in developing and transitional countries. At World Growth, we embrace the age of globalization and the power of free trade to eradicate poverty and create jobs and opportunities. World Growth supports the production of palm oil and the use of forestry as a means to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. World Growth believes a robust cultivation of palm oil and forestry provides an effective means of environmental stewardship that can serve as the catalyst for increasing social and economic development.  For more information on World Growth, visit