I have an extra blog entry for you this week because I have volunteered with Zoos Victoria to be a Don’t Palm Us Off community leader and the timing is critical. Please take action and spread the word, we must ensure this legislation passes. For more information on why palm oil is a problem read my post Palm Oil Free: The Hidden Benefit To Reducing Packaging.
You have a right to know whether the products you buy contain palm oil. You have the right to choose products that won’t push orang-utans to extinction. Yet in Australia, you don’t have this right. Now is the time to change that.
On November 25 sixteen Ministers from Australia and New Zealand will finally vote on Recommendation 12 of the Blewett Review for labelling palm oil. A vote in favour will mean palm oil can no longer be a hidden ingredient on the supermarket shelves, and that means you can choose whether or not to drive Orang-utans to extinction with your purchases.
For the legislation to pass the sixteen decision makers will need to know that people from all over Australia care about this issue – we urgently need people to speak up and ensure they vote ‘yes’ to palm oil labelling. It is up to every one of us to make sure that this issue does not fall silent in the lead up to voting day on November 25. Orang-utans are running out of time.
What to do
The week of November 14 – 18 is Orang-utan Caring Week and just so happens to be one week before the vote on labelling. Here are some simple ways you can help make a meaningful difference during the week.
Send a letter to the ministers
Visit zoo.org.au/palmoil to send a letter to the ministers demanding clear labelling of palm oil. Make it as personal as you can, as that will have a bigger impact.
Go ape turning Orange for Orang-utans
Prepare an Orange for Orang-utans event with family, friends, or team mates to bring everyone together in support of this issue and to reach out to the ministers voting on November 25.
Take lots of photos and use the hashtag #labelpalmoil and tag @zoosvictoria in social media posts. Even share with the ministers on social media.
Make sure the voice of the community is heard
Ask your family and friends to also send a letter to their minister and go ape turning orange for orang-utans.
Thank you for making a difference.
Specific labelling is required, but the labelling actually needs to identify whether the palm oil is sustainably produced. If people stop purchase products with palm oil all together there will be social dislocation of families that work in sustainable palm oil plantations and industry and might in fact put more pressure on local wildlife. This Joint Position Statement from the Responsible Palm Oil Network might be of assistance to readers in getting a wider view of the situation: http://www.zoo.org.au/sites/default/files/PalmOilReport-June2016web.pdf
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Exactly right, thanks for sharing for those who are unaware of this. It is Zoos Victoria’s stance that palm oil is labelled so that people can choose to support CSPO, not reject Palm oil altogether.
Following Ed Gannon Herald Sun story today I have sent him your info and suggest he googles you and does a story. ( i hope you don’t mind)
The Palm Oil industry story is another example that if the anti’s really cared they would not be buying palm oil products ! It is absolutely hypocrisy to be criticising Malaysia Govt for clearing forests to plant palm oil trees when every day they themselves continue to use soaps, and a whole range of products that use palm oil.!
My mum made all her own soap and put in scents etc and kept me supplied too !!
Alex Arbuthnot AM
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Thanks Alex, no I don’t mind :). Really appreciate your support.
Reading a recent Amnesty International report I am not even sure sustainable palm oil is all it is cracked up to be with the crops often being harvested by children or workers who are paid so little and given no suitable protection. I have also contacted umpteen companies who use palm oil in their products to ask WHY they use it as in many cases it wasn’t there historically but not one has come back with an answer.
I live in France and here foodstuffs must state what oil is used but there are so many names for palm oil in toiletries etc it is nigh on impossible to know which products contain it. I have however started to see a few products stating they are palm oil free which helps as often the ingredients list is too small to read easily.
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