Over the past several decades, Indonesia has transformed itself into the world’s leading producer of crude palm oil (CPO), producing over 18 million tons annually. Capitalizing upon relatively inexpensive labor, abundant land, and a favorable regulatory environment, the production and export of palm oil and its derivative products have come to constitute a sizeable share of the national economy. Exports have increased by 274 percent over the past decade, and the industry is expected to continue expanding. Palm oil is currently the world’s number one source of vegetable cooking oil, but is also incorporated into countless processed foods and other household products, from cookies and candies to cosmetics, shampoos, and industrial lubricants.
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