Campaign for the use of sustainable palm oil in the UK!
Join Abbie Barnes from the UK as she starts on her mission to push for the use of sustainable palm oil in the UK! Abbie is working towards a career in wildlife and nature film documentaries with a mission to "save the natural world"
Subscribe to her youtube channel here.
Visit Abbie's website here.
Sign our petition here urging MP Richard Benyon to extend his government's support of sustainable palm oil to cover all imports of palm oil into the UK!
Read her letter to Minister of the Environment MP Richard Benyon and take action!
Follow her campaign on these pages as she pushes companies and brands in the United Kingdom to use palm oil that does not cause massive havoc and destruction on her beloved natural world.
Reply from Asda
I have been advised that any palm oil or palm oil derivatives...read more
Reply from Waitrose
We're absolutely committed to sourcing ingredients in the most ethical way possible. ..read more
Abbie's Letter to British companies
My name is Abbie Barnes; I'm 16 and working hard towards becoming a wildlife conservationist and natural history film-maker/presenter.
I have written to you before regarding the use of palm oil within your food and cosmetic products. I understand that palm oil is a cheap and affordable edible oil for you to use, but now that I am working within the area, and since speaking in the European Parliament in March, I am becoming increasingly aware that, as a county, we are relying too much on an ingredient that is evidently causing immense damage on the other side of the globe. I am afraid that 'out of sight, out of mind' is not acceptable.
Having worked for the RSPO (Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil) being one of their 'Little Voices Big Hearts' speakers, I aware of the good work that groups such as this do, encouraging the growth and production of palm plants sustainably, on land that has previously been cleared and is no longer used. Their aims are to ensure protection of the natural environment and promote equality and fairness for the local communities and small scale farmers.
Firstly, I am interested to know where it is (location, producers etc.) your palm oil come from, and how much it is you buy and use. I would also like to know about the use and handling of your palm oil, from tree to food.
Recently, I have been hearing mixed views from locals on the production on palm oil and the control that the RSPO has been having. Many claim that they are no longer being helped, and that providing certificates to plantation owners is not helping sustainability in any way. They say the certificates simply allow producers to sell their oil easier and secretly avoid the sustainability aims, whilst activity destroying land that they claim to have bought from the locals, who then claim this, is not true. It is a very complicated issue.
As a result of these large scale plantations, many of the smaller, local farmers are struggling to produce a large enough income and enough food, and they often find themselves working for the producers who have taken away and decimated their land.
First Resources of Singapore, an RSPO member in good standing is said to have cut forest land owned by farmers without permission, even though they claim they have bought the land in some RSPO reports. This results in many farmers, who simply grow crops to feed their families, are now struggling to survive, and are forced to work in areas they are inexperienced in. Is it not important that we help these people to uphold their traditional ways of life?
I am yet to mention the unexplainable amount of damage and loss of life that the creation of plantations is causing to wildlife, but I feel I covered the main points in my previous letter.
Keeping it brief does not do the issue enough justice, but briefly, the burning of forests contributes hugely to global climate change (which we have more than enough evidence to no longer doubt), and at the same time decimates the homes of so many threatened, endangered and critically endangered species; such 'labels' on animals highlight that they are in serious threat of extinction. I am a firm believer that these creatures have as much a right to life as we also do. They are being easily wiped out, including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger and elephant and so many unique epidemic species. Surely, no matter what the cost, we should not be encouraging and supporting the production of oil that caused so much damage?
The group I am now working with plan to launch a campaign in the UK and then all over the globe raising awareness and encouraging the use of other oils. Whilst I originally felt simply labelling a product was enough (which we have achieved, as by 2014 all vegetable oils must be labelled), I now realise that we cannot plaster labels and letters over this evidently gruesome and controversial issue.
I am slowly stepping up into the wildlife conservation, filming and presenting world and know my aim is to gain funds to travel to Borneo and Malaysia to document the truth around the issue, in a non-bias way. I am sure you are aware that this is a hugely propagandised topic, making finding and understanding the truth extremely difficult to find.
I intend to launch a campaign here in the UK about the use of palm oil in our country, and trying to understand how people feel about the ingredient and change that we can achieve together.
I appreciate that it is impossible to wipe out the use of palm oil at present, but it will certainly be interesting to learn which companies show an interest in protecting the environment, listening to their customers and the youth of this age.
Thank you for your time and I await your response.