With the launch of Iceland’s eye-opening advert which focuses on the use of palm oil in everyday products and the extremely severe and harmful impact that this is having on rainforests and the animals that live within them, particularly Orangutans, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is taking a look at the products and ingredients that we use and making an effort to source alternatives.
Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that can be found in around half of all packaged supermarket products. This includes bread, chocolate, shampoo, candles, lipstick and a lot more. Although it’s not always listed as palm oil on the ingredients list, sometimes you may see ‘vegetable oil’ and ‘vegetable fat’ instead.
Palm oil is extracted from the fruit and seeds of the trees and although it’s native to parts of West Africa, plantations have been set up in Indonesia and Malaysia. Around 66 million tons of palm oil is thought to be produced every year and this results in deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous right abuses in the countries where it’s produced. It’s affecting many different animals including some endangered species such as Orangutans, Rhino’s and Tigers.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Head Chef, Gareth Williams says “We are in the process of conducting a study into all of our products and ingredients that may contain palm oil from unsustainable sources. We will then be working with our suppliers to ensure that wherever possible, we can source alternatives or products and ingredients that come from sustainable sources for both The Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran and Parc Slip Visitor Centre in Bridgend.”
Rebecca Vincent, Marketing and Communications Officer for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales added “After the launch of Blue Planet, we are in a very ideal time to be talking about the issues facing our environment and most importantly how we all can be making small choices every day to reduce these negative impacts. People are listening and people want to help. Change starts with yourself so we want to ensure we’re doing all we can to reduce our use of palm oil within The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.”