Sustainable Palm Oil

Properties of sustainable palm oil

Palm Oil Production

Palm oil production does not require vast tracts of land. Of the land dedicated to oil and fat crops around the world, only 6% are palm oil crops and they produce 28% of the total global oil volume. Palm oil production in Guatemala is geared completely towards human consumption. Guatemala ranks first in the world in terms of productivity per hectare, outperforming Malaysia and Indonesia. The shortage of land for sustainable palm oil cultivation means that we have had to be more efficient per hectare in order to minimize the social and environmental impact. At AgroAmerica we understand that sustainability is achieved through diverse efforts that involve environmentally appropriate agricultural operations that are both economically viable and socially beneficial, so that they contribute to the development of the country.

We have four palm oil mills for the production of the sustainable oils. Three mills are located in Guatemala and one in Panama. In Guatemala, two mills are in the municipality of Morales, Izabal, called La Francia and Del Atlántico, and one (Agroaceite) is in Retalhuleu. In Panama, Agropalma is located in the region of Chiriqui.

The nutritional Value of Sustainable Palm Oil

Nutritional value of palm oil

• It has vitamins A and E that help reduce cell damage that accelerates aging and development of some diseases.

• The fatty acids that palm oil has are vital for building the body’s cell membranes, including bones, nerves and brain.

• It has micronutrients that help cell functioning to keep the body healthy and functioning properly.

• It is free from cholesterol and fatty acids.

Palm kernel oil

Palm Kernel Oil

Palm kernel oil is extracted from the nut, or kernel, that makes up the fruit bunch of the palm tree. The composition of this oil is different from the one obtained from the whole fruit of the palm tree. Palm kernel oil can be found in a number of products, including margarine, vegetable oil and shortening, creamers, chocolate and ice cream. Depending on the amount per serving, palm kernel oil may offer some health benefits. One benefit of palm kernel oil is that it is completely free of cholesterol.

The oil has a yellow color and can be easily refined.  It then acquires a clear color and this is the form used to make hundreds of edible products. Olein and palm stearin are two variants of liquid oil obtained from the fractionation processes of the palm kernel oil, each one with different physical and chemical characteristics and specific functions for the application in food products.

Crude Palm oil

Crude Palm Oil

Crude palm oil is obtained from the mesocarp of the palm oil fruit. It is characterized by a 1:1 ratio of palmitic and oleic acid, which gives it a high stability to oxidation and does not require hydrogenation (precursor process of trans fatty acids). It has a high content of vitamin A (carotene) and vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols).

The crude palm oil is used in its natural form as a raw material in the edible oil and fats industry, (liquid oils and margarines) animal feed, soaps, cosmetics and others. Thanks to its fatty acid relation, two by-products are obtained from the oil: stearin and olein, with a wide range of uses at the industrial level.

Palm kernel cake, or palmiste, is obtained from the extraction of the oil from the palm fruit kernel

Palm Kernel Cake

Palm kernel cake, or palmiste, is obtained from the extraction of the oil from the palm fruit kernel. It has been shown that the cake is an important energy and protein source in the manufacture of animal feed. It’s used in livestock feed formulation; it provides soluble and insoluble fiber, proteins and fat, which are basic elements for the development of livestock, beef and dairy cattle.

Sustainable Palm Oil products produced in AgroAmerica mills.

Agro Palm Holding Corp.

Who are we?

We are the business unit of AgroAmerica that engages in the production and marketing of products that come from oil palm. We are a company oriented to our people and we do not employ temporary staff.

Preserved Identity Model 

Agroamerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp. has opted for the Identity Preserved supply chain model (IP), which guarantees customers that all the processed fruit in the palm oil plants is 100% certified, thus ensuring traceability in the supply chain.

Agroamerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp. owns four oil processing plants, where 100% of CPO and CPKO is produced. (See map in the Sustainability Report 2017).

Currently, 50% of the plants located in Northeastern Guatemala are RSPO certified with an Identity Preserved model and the commitment is for all of our own supply base to be RSPO certified by 2020, including plants located in Southwestern Guatemala and on the Southern Coast of Panama. With regard to oil palm crops, 62.5% of the plantations are RSPO certified.

In addition, 75% of the oil processing plants are Rainforest Alliance (Identity Preserved) certified, with the highest certification (Category A) for operations located in Northeastern Guatemala and by 2019, with the inclusion of the Panama Unit, we expect to have 100% certification.

Subsidiaries of Agroamerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp.


It is located in Northeastern Guatemala and has a group membership in RSPO:

The member companies of the Agrocaribe group are: Agrofrancia, Extractora del Atlántico, Extractora La Francia, and Sistemas Integrales Montañas del Norte S. A

These operations have two oil processing plants.

100% of these operations are certified under the RSPO IP model.


It is located in Southwestern Guatemala and is a member of RSPO:

The operation has one tropical oil processing plant.

It is expected to be RSPO certified by 2019 under the IP model.


It is located in Southern Panama.

The processing plant started operations in August 2017.

Total land area: 2,170 hectares, unplanted area: 181.57 hectares, smallholders: 3891.50 hectares

Agropalma has not added new plantations since January 2015.

It is not yet an RSPO member since it will join the RSPO membership in process for Agroamerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp.

It is expected to be RSPO certified by 2020.

Sustainability organization chart

Palm Oil Sustainability Reports

Responsible Use of Water

We have technologies for efficient water management (see Sustainability Report 2017). We are committed to reducing the use of water by 40-45% by 2019, through the various technologies used. We also have the commitment to create “buffer” zones on river banks.

All our oil mills have waste water treatment systems which include the collection methane gas from the ponds; 50% of them have renewable energy generation. This has led to 80% reduction of BOD and COD in effluent outlets over the last 10 years. Additionally, at the end of the effluent treatment process, water meets legal requirements of the country for use in agricultural irrigation through spraying. This returns part of the minerals to the crop.

Use of Chemicals

An AgroAmerica we do not use agrochemicals such as Paraquat, or Class 1A and 1B pesticides. We do not use chemicals listed in the Stockholm Convention and the Rotterdam Convention either.

We also have an Integrated Pest Management Plan to ensure plant health.

Sustainability Policies

We have sustainability policies in place that promote responsible labor, environmental and social practices. Likewise, we have a code of ethics based on values and transparency, applicable to our workers, directors, customers and suppliers, to guarantee quality products, and ensure competitive and profitable business, while at the same time supplying products that are ethically produced and delivered, consistent with market demands.

> Social Action Plan

Certification Status

Agroamerica has committed to building a 100% transparent, traceable and sustainable palm supply chain by 2019.

As added to No Deforestation pledge, in Traceability our commitment is: All palm oil volumes we produce, trade (ship and physically handle) and process will be traceable to sustainable mills and plantations by 2019.

In our sustainable work, we actively pursue certification of all our oil palm plantations under global sustainability standards, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard (RAS).

Agrocaribe has 100% of its POMs certified under RSPO standard in preserved identity model (IP) an also in Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard.

Agroaceite is 100% RAS certified and is in the RSPO certification process, as well as Agropalma.

The commitment will be fulfilled to the year 2019 with the certification of the business unit located in Panama (Agropalma), according to this plan.