Oily Palms

Oily Palms

Posted on 29. Apr, 2010 by in eat me

GP: This was written for the beautiful http://www.cohabitaire.com/ site on the 7th April.

Living in the city can make the tropics seem very, very far away. It makes it even harder to fathom that almost half the packaged products available on our supermarket shelves contains an ingredient grown in tropical regions all over the world: Palm Oil. It’s the most widely used vegetable oil and can be found in foods like bread, chocolate, margarine, biscuits, chips and ice cream and cosmetics such as lipsticks, shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers.

GP: This was written for the beautiful http://www.cohabitaire.com/ site on the 7th April.

So how do you know what contains Palm Oil? Well, it’s difficult. In Australia, palm oil is labelled as vegetable oil, offering consumers no way of knowing whether or not their shopping choices are contributing to deforestation and habitat loss. Luckily palm oil can be produced sustainably and you can make an informed choice about which responsible brands you support.

The World Wildlife Fund Australia has launched the ‘Palm Oil Buyers scorecard’, a report providing transparency around the sustainability of palm oil in products manufactured and sold by Cadbury, Coles, Goodman Fielder, Nestle, Unilever and Woolworths.

“Ninety seven per cent of our palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia – places with incredibly important rainforests and wildlife habitats,” said WWF-Australia CEO Greg Bourne.

“Palm oil growth is now one of the world’s leading causes of deforestation. The choices made by retailers and manufacturers of palm oil have a direct impact on the habitat of endangered species such as the orang-utan, Sumatran tiger and Asian elephant.”

Greenpeace are running their own campaign against Nestlé who use unsustainable palm oil from rainforests in Indonesia, threatening the lives and habitats of Orang-utans.

Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

Together, the companies featuring in WWF-Australia’s Scorecard account for approximately 70 per cent of the palm oil imported and used in manufactured goods in Australia.

By working with WWF and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, companies both in Australia and internationally are beginning to make the switch to a sustainable alternative, Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).

“WWF believes it is possible for palm oil imports into Australia to be 100 per cent CSPO by 2015, ensuring our palm oil consumption does not drive the further loss of these amazing habitats,” said Mr Bourne.

Take a look at the WWF-Australia Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard.

Visit Greenpeace to send a letter of petition to the CEO of Nestlé.

Many thanks to Ingrid Schroder the creator of Cohabitaire.com – a website of photography, discussion & tales of urban life inspired by nature, food, travel, flora & fauna, conservation & sustainability, yoga, surf, science and more, for allowing us to use the article

A happy resolution and follow up can be found at http://www.greenplanet.com/oily-palms-follow-up/

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  1. Ethical Shopping hard but not impossible | greenplanet.com - 21. Jun, 2010

    […] In fact it’s a total minefield that to a certain extent you usually pick what you want for a variety of reasons and go with it until somebody tells you not to. Think Kit Kat and the Greenpeace campaign with Nestle. […]

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