Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Wellington Zoo Speaks Up In Palm Oil Debate

Wellington Zoo Speaks Up In Palm Oil Debate

May 13, 2014

Wellington Zoo is lending its support to an Australasian consumer rights campaign that is actively seeking legislative change regarding the labeling of palm oil.

The zoo has recently signed on as a partner of Unmask Palm Oil, a campaign that wishes to see transparency around the use of the ingredient and sustainability in how it is produced.

After playing host to one of Unmask Palm Oil’s public information workshops last year, Wellington Zoo has committed to working closer with the campaign. Zoo staff support Unmask Palm Oil’s cause as they are particularly concerned at the impact that current palm oil production practices have on wildlife.

‘We are thrilled to partner with Unmask Palm Oil,’ says the Zoo’s general manager for community engagement Amy Hughes. ‘We think it is crucial for consumers to know what they are buying and how their purchasing choices affect the precious forest habitats of the endangered animals we care for at Wellington Zoo.'

Unmask Palm Oil’s campaign director Ben Dowdle is pleased to continue working closely with the Zoo. ‘They have been strong supporters of our campaign since we ran a workshop there last year,’ says Dowdle. ‘The unsustainable production of palm oil is an issue of global significance. The conventional palm oil industry is pushing species like the orangutan, Sumatran Tiger and the Asian elephant to the edge of extinction so its great to have Wellington Zoo voicing their concern.’

Production of the oil is chiefly based in Indonesia and Malaysia where the rampant growth of the unsustainable parts of the industry is causing lasting social and environmental harm. Unmask Palm Oil takes a line of difference and is calling for legislation that makes it mandatory to clearly label the ingredient as customers are currently in the dark as to what food and cosmetic items contain it.

Unmask Palm Oil also advocates for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) which is a certification scheme that assures consumers the palm oil is from a source that hasn’t come at the cost of indigenous land rights or primary rainforest.

The campaign is hard at work raising awareness ahead of a 2015 meeting of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation, which consists of nine ministers from Australia and Nikki Kaye, New Zealand’s Minister for Food Safety.

‘These ministers will decide in May next year whether mandatory labeling of palm oil goes out for public consultation,’ says Dowdle. ‘We have big plans for making sure this happens and we look forward to working with Wellington Zoo in achieving this.’

About Unmask Palm Oil
Unmask Palm Oil is the Australasian campaign for mandatory labeling of palm oil. Unmask Palm Oil aims to see mandatory labelling of palm oil introduced through the introduction of Recommendation 12 of the ‘Labelling Logic’ report. This recommendation will be decided upon by the ‘Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation’. This forum is made up of a nine ministers from Australia (federal, state, territorial) and one from New Zealand.

Palm Oil is an ingredient used in processed foods, soaps, shampoos and cosmetics that when produced unsustainably, causes environmental and social damage primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia. The deforestation for new plantations means species like the orangutan, tigers and elephants are being pushed to the edge of extinction, indigenous communities living in the rainforest are forced off their land and billions of tonnes of carbon emissions are produced every year.

A consumer wanting to buy Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) or a suitable alternative will discover that Australasian labelling laws makes it impossible to make this simple ethical choice. Under Australasian labelling laws palm oil can be labelled generically as ‘vegetable oil’.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election