More than 10% of all palm kernel meal, a byproduct of palm oil, produced in the world is fed to British animals as feed or petfood, a statistic that may be contributing to deforestation, according to experts.

The plantations on which most of the world’s oil palm is grown have resulted in an 85% loss of biodiversity, according to a study done for the Department of Food and Rural Affairs. But while many British importers are focusing more on sustainable palm oil, the same cannot be said for sustainable palm kernel meal. "It's not just a by-product," said Defra official Sara Eppel, especially in Britain where "we import five times as much kernel from Indonesia as palm oil." In addition, said Eppel, "government buying standards don't currently cover palm oil sustainability.”


According to the report, the focus on sustainability is increasing, but is not yet as widespread as it needs to be to properly protect the rainforests being affected.