500 signatures reached
To: Woolworths Limited & Coles Supermarkets
Stop Woolworths and Coles using Palm Oil in their 'Select' brand and 'Coles brand' goods
Dear Grant O'Brien (Woolworths Ltd. CEO) and Ian McLeod (Coles Supermarkets CEO),
I recently picked up a loaf of whole grain bread of the Woolworths 'Select' brand. When browsing through the ingredients list I noticed the use of palm oil alongside canola oil. This piqued my curiosity, so I checked the ingredients list of a 'Coles brand' bakery item and found the same thing. While I commend you both for stating specifically which vegetable oils you use I have to object to Woolworths' and Coles' use of palm oil. I object because a) palm oil plantations are the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia thus are major contributors to CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss in these countries and b) palm oil is replaceable by other vegetable oils. As such I urge you to stop the use of palm oil and palm oil products in Woolworths 'Select' products and Coles 'Coles brand' products. I assure you that I and my family will not be buying any 'Select' or 'Coles brand' products or, in fact, any other products from your supermarkets that contain palm oil/palm oil products. As the old Native American saying goes: "Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
Why is this important?
Palm oil is a versatile vegetable oil that is used in around 50% of our everyday goods - it is used in food, cosmetics, candles and even biofuels. Unfortunately, in 2007 the UN stated that palm oil plantations are the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. Aside from the huge annual loss of rainforest systems, the clearing and burning of these areas has two major implications: 1) the burning contributes enormously to CO2 emissions and 2) due to clearing, the abundant and vibrant biodiversity in the Indo-Malay rainforests are replaced with a silent monoculture of Palm and this is most often a brutal transition. Wild Orangutan populations in connection with palm oil plantations have been in the spotlight in recent years. "According to the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), at least 1,500 orangutans were clubbed to death by palm oil plantation workers in 2006 alone. According to the UN, there is a risk that no wild orangutans will remain outside of protected areas by 2020" (Rainforest-Rescue.org).
Please stop buying products that contain palm oil or palm oil products. We must save our Orangutans, we must save our rainforests, we must save our Earth.