UK supermarket’s viral orangutan ad slammed by palm oil giant

Christopher Davidson
November 18, 2018

A GROUP representing the palm oil industry has slammed United Kingdom supermarket chain Iceland Foods Ltd for releasing a viral commercial which attacked the product, amid the European Union's long-standing plan to ban the commodity. A petition to overturn the advert ban has so far attracted more than 720,000 signatures.

"We endorsed a universal, transformative, and integrated agenda, meant to strengthen transparency and inclusivity in the RSPO system, increase implementation of the RSPO standards, boost market uptake of sustainable palm oil through shared responsibilities, and create an enabling environment for our shared vision of market transformation".

Greenpeace mapped forest clearing for oil palm plantations in Papua between 2015 and 2018.

Thanks to Iceland, Palm Oil has been a huge topic of discussion lately, with their Christmas advert being banned for being too political and doing the rounds on social media instead.

Palm oil and its derivatives can also appear under many names, so the WWF urges consumers to be wary of terms including: Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, ElaeisGuineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate and Palmityl Alcohol.

There is an ethical, sustainable way to produce palm oil and the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil is the leading body in trying to convert the entire industry to use certified sustainable palm oil.

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Other topics of interest at RT16 included "Sustainable Financing" and the "Responsible Consumption and Production in Emerging Markets" as well as the release of RSPO's latest Impact Report.

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In the first three days, participants would be given lectures regarding policy, facts and discoveries, the palm oil business or organizational structure in general, as well as research and development. It can be as simple as growing the crop on non-forested areas.

But it can also involve protecting forests along rivers, such that they join up patches of high quality forest within the palm oil landscape, allowing wildlife to move more freely.

In a number of European countries that become one of Indonesia's main palm oil markets, inaccurate information has spread relating to palm oil such as deforestation, carbon and water issues and a loss of biodiversity that have often been accepted by the public. This is why major conservation organisations - including leading orangutan charities and Greenpeace - continue to support certified palm oil, rather than a boycott.

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