This Sunday marks World Soil Day – an annual day created to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil sanitisation, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
At Daabon UK, we recognise just how important it is to protect and preserve the earth’s natural resources – and that includes soil. Read on to discover what we’re doing to help the cause and find out some of the biggest issues facing soil today.
The Importance of Soil
In addition to being home to countless insects and other organisms, soil provides an environment for the healthy growth of plants and cleans our water supplies.
It provides trees and plants with the necessary protection against erosion, and gives roots a support system that prevents them from being uprooted in extreme weather.
For humans it is invaluable – acting as the crucial foundation for food to grow from. To have a healthy harvest, a nutrient rich soil is required, meaning that planting in poor soil quality can have extreme consequences for the food supply chain.
The Issue of Sodification and Salinization
World Soil Day is run by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and follows a different campaign annually. This year’s campaign, “Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity”, was created out of acknowledgement that soil salinization and sodification are among the most important problems globally for agricultural production, sustainability and food security in arid and semi-arid regions.
Soil salinization and sodification involve salt in the soil, and are major soil degradation processes that cause a decrease in agricultural productivity, soil biodiversity, soil erosion and water quality – transforming previously fertile land into barren areas.
Growing Sustainable Palm Oil - Soil in the Rainforest
Whilst salinisation isn’t a major issue in our areas of operations due to the tropical climate of Colombia, there are other threats that endanger the health and quality of the land.
Soil erosion is one of the biggest problems in tropical rainforests, as soils are often very poor and fragile meaning heavy rainforest can rapidly and easily destroy its structure and prompt the beginnings of erosion.
Although this is often unavoidable and caused by natural processes, it’s also exacerbated by human activity such as deforestation and digging which disturbs the land.
Another historic issue in Colombia is the issues caused by chemical fertilisers. Over time, these can deplete soils of their natural nutrients, making it more costly and difficult to produce crops. They are additionally responsible for polluting the ground, weather resources and their air – so using a more planet-friendly alternative in the form of a natural fertiliser is an important part of our commitment to sustainability.
Playing Our Part – Sustainable Policies for a Sustainable Future
Soil is essential to our operations and is the base from which our palm flourishes. It’s an invaluable part of our business – and we do everything we can to protect it.
We have several sustainable policies in place designed to minimise our impact on the land, with a few of these benefiting soil directly.
Planting in peat and burning forests are two of the biggest issues related to palm being perceived as unsustainable, so we implemented a strict zero peat and zero fire policy. Neither of these things happen here at Daabon, and we have an exhaustive monitoring program in place across our catchment area.
We reuse every possible kilogram and recycle as much as we can by producing our own compost from agricultural waste and cattle manure from our own herds.
We’re also taking a stand against the problems caused by chemical fertilisers by choosing to use only organic, natural fertilisers. Our commitment to protecting the land can be further reflected in the fact we are accredited by The Soil Association – the UK’s leading organic certifier.
Certified Sustainable Palm Oil For the Planet and People
We value the land we rely on, and do our utmost to treat it with the respect it deserves.
As providers of organic, certified sustainable palm oil, we are continually looking for ways to further advance our sustainability credentials, and are Rainforest Alliance and RSPO certified.
To find out more about our policies and commitment to the protecting the planet, please visit our sustainability page here.