I have just read an article about palm oil and I am surprised at what is happening just so that the country can make enough of it for the demands. Apparently palm oil is in lots of our products, a full list can be found in the link above. In order to meet the demands more and more of the rainforests are being destroyed, therefore taking away the habitats of the animals and wildlife that live there. They are endangering lots of species and it always saddens me to see what we are doing to out planet in the name of vanity and greed.
You can read the full story here http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/ I realise it is not entirely reasonable or realistic to expect everyone to boycott the purchase of items which contact palm oil but I personally cannot support the destruction of rain forests. I was most surprised to see Body Shop on there as they are against animal testing and surely this goes against everything they stand for? I remember shopping there as a teenager buying their animal and fruit soaps, spending all my pocket money there because they were against animal testing and furthermore highlighted the animals which were endangered. It was almost like we were part of a campaign group (in our heads anyway, as we loved animals and really did care, we just did not know how to make a difference yet). So me and my friends used to go into the shop every Saturday morning, talking to the staff and purchasing yet another animal soap to show our support! Maybe it is because Anita Roddick no longer owns the company, does this mean that The Body Shop has lost its soul?
I felt I had to find out, so I visited http://www.bodyshop.com to seek the answer. Here is what the Body Shop had to say on the matter:
“Good news! Since 2011, 100% of the unmodified palm oil use in The Body Shop products has been certified sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Our supplier, based in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, has been certified by RSPO.
The Body Shop’s soaps contain the largest percentage of sustainable palm oil out of all our products. All soaps at The Body Shop display the RSPO logo on the packaging, as a way of raising the profile of this important not-for-profit accreditation association.
ABOUT PALM OIL
Palm Oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, used in everything from food to detergents, and increasingly also as a bio-fuel. The expansion of palm oil plantations has contributed to the destruction of the world’s ancient rainforests and endangers animal species such as orang-utans in Borneo and Sumatra.
Endangered species at increased risk from expanding palm oil plantations in this region include the:
- Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae);
- Sumatran orang-utan (Pongo abelii); and
- Bornean orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).
This expansion has in some instances impacted the living conditions of Indigenous people in the communities surrounding palm-oil plantations, resulting in frequent conflict over land, forced evictions and human rights violations. This is why The Body Shop has made a commitment to responsible sourcing of palm oil.
Watch The Sustainable Palm Oil video to learn more about sustainable Palm Oil from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
THE BODY SHOP AND PALM OIL
THE BODY SHOP AND DAABON
The Body Shop began working with Daabon, a Colombian group in 2007. Daabon was not certified by the RSPO, as a national standard for Colombia didn’t exist at the time; however it had passed an independent audit using the Roundtable’s criteria. We also carried out our own visits to their plantations.
In late 2009 a problem suddenly emerged with Daabon involving a piece of land that had been purchased by a consortium that included Daabon. Christian Aid, an international development charity and its local partner in Colombia claimed people living on the land protected by the consortium were being evicted to make way for a new palm oil plantation.
For its part, the consortium insisted they had bought the land in good faith, and there were no signs of the land being previously occupied. The Body Shop did not have a trading relationship with the consortium, but as soon as we heard about this new issue we thought it sensible to investigate the matter for ourselves.
We commissioned an independent study in partnership with Christian Aid, which revealed how complex the underlying legal and property questions really were. We used the results of the study to suggest a number of ways Daabon might help resolve the issue, which they did take on board. The Body Shop concluded that an acceptable long-term solution was unlikely to be found, and as a result stopped trading with Daabon.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Where possible, buy products that have been certified as sustainable.
This at least restores some faith. Hopefully the other companies will follow suit and join the RSPO, if they have not done so already.
If you would like the option of buying Palm Free products you can find a list here, kindly offered by Borneo Orangutan Survival website.