The long road to sustainability of Mexican oil palm production

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


Environmental policies often outline myriad goals and numerous ways to achieve them. For example, policies may dictate a change in land use or crop production while promoting social development for communities. Yet environmental policies often fall short of meeting their goals. Federal policies that promote the expansion of oil palm in Mexico are examples of this type of measure that falls short of meeting its social goals as the crop expands and is used to meet other goals, such as diversifying commodity crops. There are few comprehensive policies that establish how oil palm production will be grown in an explicitly sustainable manner in terms of promoting the well being of society, the long- term profitability of the crop, and protection for the health of the environment (Solomon et al., 2015; Stattman and Mol, 2014). In the absence of strong federal policies, third- party certification and international sustainability standards offer the ability to meet such development goals while also promoting economically viable and environmentally safe oil palm production.

Publisher's Statement

© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Chelsea Schelly and Aparajita Banerjee; individual chapters, the contributors. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Environmental Policy and the Pursuit of Sustainability