The palm oil industry has papered over vast swathes of the planet, much of it valuable and ecologically diverse. Forty million tonnes are produced annually, and it can be found in 50% of all packaged foods. Travelling from Cameroon, to Guatemala, to Colombia the doc investigates what has catalysed this new industry and the social and environmental impact of it's exponential growth. Palm oil has dominated the environmental press in recent years, amid claims of deforestation and the detrimental effects of monoculture. Michael Dorgan set out to investigate these claims. In Cameroon, where palm oil has been cultivated for almost two centuries, the palm plantations have stayed consistent in size, and remain largely small scale family operations. The community revolves around the plantation, and the wealth it generates supports hospitals and schools. But in Guatemala it’s a very different story. The local Mayan population are forced into selling their land to the palm companies, and branded terrorists if they resist. This crafted doc questions whether palm oil is quite the Godsend that many initially thought it was?
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