Check that out!

24 April 2013

‘Checkout ’ takes on a special meaning at the Zoopermarket officially launched today at Melbourne Zoo.

At a normal supermarket checkout, consumers pay for their selected products. At the Zoopermarket, consumers will get to check out the ingredients in some items commonly found on supermarket shelves.

Knowing what’s what when confronted with an array of products can be confusing, especially since Australia’s labelling laws allow palm oil to be labelled as ‘vegetable oil’.

Scanning selected Zoopermarket items will reveal whether the manufacturer is using palm oil, and if so whether it is being produced sustainably.

The Zoopermarket is the latest stage in the ongoing Don’t Palm us Off campaign, which aims to draw consumer attention to the widespread use of unsustainably produced palm oil and facilitate their communication with manufacturers on this issue to encourage use of sustainably sourced palm oil.

The clearing of rainforest in order to plant vast expanses of palm oil trees is the single largest factor in harming wildlife populations in South East Asia, including the rapidly diminishing orang-utan population.

Palm oil is found in about 40% of the products on supermarket shelves. Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is an alternative ingredient that is produced without harming local wildlife and communities.

Now Zoo visitors can see for themselves how some common supermarket products rate in terms of their use of palm oil.

Visitors will be able to scan selected products, see where they rate on this three-stage scale, and email manufacturers accordingly, either to congratulate them or to ask for a change in palm oil policy.

The Zoopermarket is located at our Orang-utan Sanctuary giving visitors viewing Asia’s only Great Apes better information about the issue that is pushing them towards extinction.