Going palm oil free
Is it possible to completely avoid palm oil?

Day 29 – Nestle, Give orangutans a break

I’m not a great one for activism. I should be – I care about the issues I talk and blog about, but I’m more the kind of person who tries to quietly make his point and influence those around me to follow my views if they so wish.

But the world would never become a better place if everyone were like me – or not at the rate at which it needs to anyway. Today there was a very successful campaign by Greenpeace UK which perhaps explains, a lot more radically, why I feel the palm oil issue is an important one.

With the slogan “give orangutans a break”, Greenpeace activists, dressed as orangutans, demonstrated outside Nestle head offices in Croydon and York. Nestle, maker of the KitKat, which I believe is the UK’s most popular snack, continues not only to use palm oil in its KitKat bars (though doesn’t have the courage to label it so) but worse still uses unscrupulous suppliers and shows no inclination to move towards sustainability.

The video below is from Greenpeace UK, and more about their campaign and actions from today can be found here

Great news already from the campaign is that Nestle are now rumoured to have dropped supplier Sinar Mas – the same company that Unilever agreed to drop on the day of Panorama’s programme earlier this month.

It really does seem that when an issue likes this gets a groundswell of attention that people and corporations will take notice. Whether it’s by making a quiet personal stand, by letter-writing and e-mail campaigns, or by telling everyone you know, it means that when there is greater exposure of the palm oil issue on occasions, the educated audience is bigger and bigger every time. We can win the battle to earn ourselves as consumers the right to an informed choice. One that will still give us great tasting bread, biscuits and chocolate, but that will leave a safer future for great apes and the ecosystems that both sustain them and regulate the planet’s climate.

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6 Responses to “Day 29 – Nestle, Give orangutans a break”

  1. To whom it may concern. I am incredibly impressed by your endeavours. Keep up the good work. You blog is invaluable in my own quest to get rid of palm oil in my diet.

    I have feature you on my blog. I hope you do not mind.

    Minnie x

  2. Thanks Minnie – no, of course I don’t mind! It’s comments like these that encourage me and make it worth it.

    Neil

  3. I may have found a palm oil free Easter egg at my Waitrose… ingredients are misleading! It is fair trade but doesn’t mention any kind of oil! Do you know what else I should look for to determine whether it is PO free?

    Thanks!

  4. I have also just had an email from Lindt confirming that their gold Easter Bunnys in the UK are PO free… not quite an egg! But an Easter treat all the same!

  5. Just caught up with your blog after a few days. Don’t know if this is correct but my daughter told me that 2 bar Kitkats are becoming PO free, but strangely the 4 bar variety will continue to contain it! I think this is because they are made at different factories.

    Saw something good while checking out the biscuits this week, Patersons shortbread fingers use vegetable oil but the ingredient lists contains the statement “this product is free from Palm Oil”. This gives me great encouragement as presumably this company realises that there is consumer resistance developing.

  6. Hey! Just wanted to let you know that your blog is so inspiring! I have only read about palm oil recently and have stopped buying my favourite mi goreng noodles and the Aussie favourite Tim Tam biscuits and have switched to sustainable PO soap from the market.. But labels are so misleading!! It would be great to know if ingredients such as Glycerol stearate are derived from PO.. that ingredient is in almost every beauty product I own!!
    Also wanted to mention that Kit Kats and Nestle aren’t fair trade and that disappoints me too! Even more so than the PO issue!!
    Thanks heaps for this blog! Its really inspiring me to look at the labels not just for the fair trade logo but for PO free alternatives!!
    Keep up the good work, Mate!! Sorry that this comment is so huge!


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