The food you buy could be pushing Orangutans to extinction! Palm oil is found in approx 40% of the food products on our shelves & its destroying the Orangutan’s habitat at an alarming rate.
The United Nations has warned that Orangutans could be extinct within a generation if we don’t act quickly.
The simple fact is that you can’t tell whether you are contributing to this crisis because palm oil is not labelled on most food products.
Most of the palm oil that ends up in our food is unsustainably harvested. In fact, only eight percent of the global supply of palm oil comes from sustainable RSPO certified sources. A sustainable palm oil industry that does not destroy anymore virgin rainforest is a reality. The industry just needs to use land that has already been cleared. But right now there isn’t the demand for palm oil that is produced this way.
Once palm oil is labelled, consumers can actually drive a market for proper certified sustainable palm oil because they can demand it of manufacturers (as we’ve seen with Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance products).
You have a right to know whether the products you buy contain palm oil. However without legislation change, palm oil will remain unlabelled and you just won’t know if the food products you are buying are pushing orangutans to extinction.
WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Read up on all the information you need about Palm Oil and what action you can take with Palm Oil Action
Send emails to politicians, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and companies who use palm oil to let them know how you feel. Palm Oil Action have sample emails you can use to help you get started. They also have a comprehensive list of the people to send the emails to – it includes politicians, supermarkets etc.
Email your friends and family with this article and links to both Don’t Palm Us Off Campaign and Palm Oil Action websites. Get the information out there and help to make a difference. Really it only takes a few minutes to email your nearest and dearest!
Update your Facebook / MySpace / Friendster and Blog with information about Palm Oil. Write a post about it and how you want the choice to buy Palm Oil products or not. Include images of the Orang-utans that are actually at risk!
DID YOU KNOW?
- Over 85% of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia.
- Today, the most common cause of deforestation and fragmentation in Indonesia is related to palm oil development.
- An estimated 40% of food on our supermarket shelves contains palm oil.
- In SE Asia alone, the equivalent of 300 football fields are deforested every hour for palm oil production.
- Palm oil typically costs the lives of up to 50 Orang-utans each week.
- Australians unknowingly consume on average 10 kilograms of palm oil each year because we do not currently have the ability to exercise consumer choice.
- Sustainable Palm Oil Plantations are a possibility however you need you to tell FSANZ you want palm oil labeling if they are to become a reality.
- Once palm oil is labelled, consumers can actually drive a market for proper certified sustainable palm oil because they can demand it of manufacturers (as we’ve seen with Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance products).
- Palm oil from certified sustainable RSPO sources only accounts for 8 percent of the global supply of palm oil.
- 90% of Orang-utan habitat has been lost already. If all of it is lost then so are the livelihoods of many people.
- The industry needs to increase yields on land that has already been cleared but right now there is very little incentive for them to do this.
- We share 97% of our DNA with Orang-utans. You could say they are our wild cousins.
Images & Info via Zoos Victoria & Palm Oil Action