You can help save orang-utans from extinction. Speak up for your right to choose food products that don’t destroy orang-utan habitat.
Orang-utans in South-east Asia are facing extinction due to the unsustainable production of palm oil. Almost half of all supermarket products contain palm oil, much of which may have been produced at the cost of precious rainforest. Don’t Palm Us Off encourages consumers to fight for their right to choose products that don’t destroy orang-utan habitat.
What’s the story?
The single biggest threat to the survival of orang-utans is the unsustainable production of palm oil – an ingredient found in many packaged supermarket products. Its rampant cultivation is destroying rainforest habitat at an alarming rate. The simple fact is that Australian consumers currently can’t tell whether they are contributing to this crisis because most manufacturers are not transparent about their use of palm oil or their sources. Since late 2009, Zoos Victoria’s Don’t Palm Us Off campaign has advocated for a future where palm oil is clearly labelled and where any palm oil imported into Australia is RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). CSPO is produced in a way that aims to protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserve livelihoods.
Don’t Palm Us Off aims to:
- Raise public awareness about the palm oil crisis, exposing the link between consumers and orang-utan survival
- To ensure that any palm oil used by Australian based manufacturers is 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)
- Work with government and other agencies to mandate the labelling of palm oil on all products sold in Australia
Facilitating conservation action
This year, Zoos Victoria launched the Zoopermarket at Melbourne Zoo and online - mobilising community action by shining a light on the use of palm oil in your favourite products. Through the Zoopermarket you can send a clear message via email to grocery manufacturers. Tell them that as a consumer, you deserve to be able to choose products that do not contribute to the destruction of orang-utan habitat and, when it comes to palm oil, you want 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). More than 5 million tonnes of CSPO was produced in 2011 , but without companies committed to using it and clearly labelling it, forest destruction from unsustainable palm oil production can continue.
- Inspired more than 163,000 petition signatures demanding mandatory palm oil labelling
- Motivated large organisations to commit to CSPO by 2015 – Unilever and Woolworths confirmed their decision was prompted by the rise in community awareness as a result of Don’t Palm Us Off and the work of WWF
- Zoos Victoria was awarded the 2011 Banksia Environmental Foundation People’s Choice Award, reinforcing the continued strong public support for the issue
- National Zoo
- Perth Zoo
- Taronga Conservation Society
- Zoos South Australia