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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  • I should add that there are masses of sites promoting this myth, and even petitions. Surely if people cared about the orangutans, they'd check to see if this was true first.

    By Blogger orphia_nay, at Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 2:04:00 pm AEST  

  • Hear hear!

    By Blogger Crushtor, at Friday, 8 October 2010 at 2:27:00 pm AEDT  

  • Sorry to burst your bubble, but RSPO certification means nothing. There is no requirement to produce sustainable palm oil to be a member of the RSPO, and supply chains don't separate sustainable from non-sustainable, so there's no way to tell the difference.

    In addition, palm oil from peninsular Malaysia may not harm orangs, but it harms a heap of other species: Malaysian tapirs, for example.

    Almost 14% of Malaysia's land area is used for palm oil production (2008 figure). Illegal clearing happens, and this includes in national parks (under the guise of 'concessions' frequently).

    By Blogger The Language Hammer, at Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 2:53:00 pm AEDT  

  • Thanks for your interesting comments, The Language Hammer. I'll look into the RSPO and tapir issues further.

    You're not bursting my bubble. Arnott's still aren't killing orangutans.

    By Blogger orphia_nay, at Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 3:06:00 pm AEDT  

  • Using the orangutans is an eye opener for the general public. Environmentalist know that thousands of species are being wiped out through the process, but the monkeys are iconic. This helps spread the message and make people understand.

    By Anonymous Daniel P, at Wednesday, 1 February 2012 at 9:21:00 pm AEDT  

  • Sorry, this may be their effort, but they cannot guarantee this label of sustainably sourced palm oil. Not then, even less now. The problems with this oil are no myth. Try going there. I have friends with first hand accounts of the devastation and issues. Daniel P is quite correct. It wipes out all wildlife, not just orangutans, but poignantly what happens to them is abhorrently cruel to the extreme. Slaughtered, burnt, taken for pets, sold to brothels for use as beasts for the animal sex trade. Horrible evil stuff. Choose any one product for purchase with palm oil in it with THAT on your conscience, and you seriously have a major problem with knowing right from wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, 3 April 2013 at 11:55:00 pm AEDT  

  • You must be gullible if you believe the words of a multi national that is making money. I wonder how many shares Arnotts has in Monsanto?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, 31 July 2013 at 10:57:00 am AEST  

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