Catcher in the Argot

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Arnott's are not killing orangutans

Arnott's are NOT killing orangutans.

I read yesterday that the maker of Tim Tams, Arnott's Australia, are endangering orangutans by using palm oil in their product(s).

This concerned me, especially since I read a National Geographic article a few months ago (about palm oil production's destruction of rainforests), and because I've been eating Arnott's' biscuits all my life.

So, I contacted Arnott's last night, asking them when they will be using sustainable palm oil in their Tim Tams. I have just received a reply. I'm not sure if I should post the whole thing, so in doubt, I will only post snippets.

Firstly, from the site I was shown: "The increased demand for palm oil, which is grown only in tropical environments, is fuelling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction".

Arnott's say the palm oil they use is "currently sourced from peninsular Malaysia only" (not Borneo or Sumatra), "from land which has been used to produce palm oil or other agriculture crops for decades." Thus, it's not endangering orangutans. Phew! I love Tim Tams!

Secondly (and this relates to Arnott's' total use of palm oil in all their products, not just Tim Tams): "While Arnott's Australia New Zealand (ANZ) uses only a small amount (less than 0.05%) of the total 40 million metric tonnes1 of palm oil produced annually [...] [f]rom August 2010, Arnott's ANZ will decrease its current palm oil usage by approximately 25 percent by replacing palm oil with alternative oils across a number of products."

Furthermore: "Working closely with its palm oil supplier, who is an active member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Arnott's ANZ is targeting the use of 100% certified sustainable palm oil, if available, by 2015. Commencing 2011, the Company will take a gradual approach to achieving this target, shifting around 20% of its supply each year, if available, to certified sustainable palm oil."

Yay, Arnott's!

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