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Business trends

Asia's palm oil industry braces for backlash at home

Environmental concerns no longer an issue only in Western markets

A worker collects fruit at a palm plantation in Malaysia, one of the world's biggest producers of palm oil. (Getty Images)

TOKYO -- Signs that a consumer backlash against palm oil is spreading to Asia has prompted companies in the region to take action, from pledging to adopt sustainable sourcing to joining international certification standards.

One of Japan's largest supermarket chains Aeon has pledged to source only sustainable palm oil for its private brand by 2020, while Chinese membership in one of the world's most stringent certification regimes has soared in the last five years.

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