What's the problem with Palm Oil?
We at the Palm Oil Action Group are concerned with unsustainable palm oil production in South East Asia.
It is destroying rainforests at an astounding rate of 300 soccer fields an hour. This is fueling the push to extinction of several species, including the Borneo and Sumatran Orangutans, the Sumatran Tiger, the Asian Elephant, the Javan Rhino and the Javan Leopard.
Human rights abuse is rife within the unsustainable palm oil industry, not only with Indigenous Peoples being pushed off their lands, but workers being mistreated and not paid.
Chemical run off from plantations affects ecosystems and pollutes the areas around the plantations.
And the burning of forests and peatlands is releasing thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year, speeding up global warming.
Why are we targeting Aldi?
Because we don't want to spend a little and lose a lot at Aldi!
Aldi is rapidly gaining market share from the other supermarkets in Australia, but:
- Aldi does not label their Palm Oil
- Aldi has no stated Palm Oil sustainability policy
- We don't know where Aldi's Palm Oil is coming from -- do they?
We can’t afford for Aldi to have no Palm Oil Policy. And neither can the Orangutans. Or the Tigers. Or the Rhinos. Or the Rainforests. You get the idea.
So we have decided to step up our Aldi campaign and use a direct action model that was successful back in 2008 through 2010 when we targeted Woolies and KFC.
What do we want from Aldi?
Our campaign aim is to have a commitment by Aldi to label Palm Oil on all products, to remove Palm Oil where possible and replace it with sustainable alternatives, and to buy segregated Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) by January 1, 2015.
Aldi produce their own products, so they have the ability to easily implement changes. They also have good records in other areas, for example sourcing sustainably caught fish, no artificial colorings, and using certified sustainable paper.
What we are asking for is simple. And it means that you and I can safely shop at Aldi, choosing Palm Oil Free if we want to, or knowing the products we buy that do contain palm oil use only segregated CSPO. This means Aldi products won't contain palm oil that has been complicit in rainforest destruction and Orangutan deaths.
But in order to run this campaign we need to raise funds to cover our costs, and that means we need your donation. Click on the donate button at the top of the screen and donate to support this campaign now.
All donations over $20 are tax deductible, as one of our founding members, the Rainforest Information Centre, is accepting them on our behalf for this campaign. Make sure you leave your details and we will email you a receipt.
What will your money go towards?
We want to run two peaceful protest actions outside Aldi stores every month between December 2013 and June 2014. That means fourteen actions in total over seven months. To do this we need to raise $9,750 to cover:
- Protest Postcards and Postage
- T-shirts for our volunteers
- A second banner
- Action Postage, for materials sent to each Action
- Travel costs for campaign supervision
- Materials for the protests
- Local costs for the protests (for example, we often have to pay the Council in question for the stall)
- Stalls at local events to advertise the campaign and recruit volunteers
- Delivery of the postcards to Aldi
Here is the front of the protest postcards we'll have for people to sign. We'll be delivering these to Aldi throughout the campaign.
Why run these peaceful protest actions outside Aldi?
Because we know it works!
In 2008 we ran protests outside of KFC, soon after which KFC announced it would stop using palm oil to fry its chicken. Throughout 2009 and the beginning of 2010 we ran protests outside of Woolworths, during which Woolies came to the table for talks and stepped up its commitments in relation to Palm Oil.
Here’s what we do (and what your donation will pay for – thank you!). We:
- Find an Aldi store to target
- Find volunteers to run a protest
- Go through local Councils to get permission to set up a stall on public land
- Run an information night to let the local community know about the protest and to gather more volunteers
- Get the media involved
- Gather all the materials: a great banner, the postcards, a table, information, mailing lists, Aldi products that contain palm oil for display…..
- Run a direct action outside the store, giving people information on palm oil and asking them to sign Aldi protest postcards
- Post updates on postcards collected on our website and on Facebook
- Post pictures and video footage on our website and on Facebook
- Get the rest of Australia involved signing postcards
- Deliver our results and our requests to Aldi throughout the campaign
We need to act now! The Orangutans don't have much time left. Neither do the Rainforests. Or the Carbon Sinks.
Please help us help Aldi make a Palm Oil commitment: Labelling of Palm Oil on all products, removing Palm Oil where possible, and using only 100% segregated CSPO where it is not possible.
Donate to this campaign today. Just click the Donate button at the top of the screen. Please also share it with your friends and family. You can use the Facebook share button, tweet about it, or email them.
For every donation above $100, we'll send you a personalised Certificate of Appreciation. And for every donation above $500, you'll receive a gorgeous sample pack of INDAH organic palm oil free beauty products.
Who are we?
The Palm Oil Action Group is a collective of four not-for-profit organisations: the Borneo Orangutan Society Australia (BOS); the Rainforest Information Centre; Friends of the Earth Australia; and The Orangutan Project. We are concerned about palm oil plantation development and the associated deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.
We run campaigns to push companies to label Palm Oil in their products, remove Palm Oil from their products, and use only 100% segregated CSPO if they have to use it at all. We also provide information and protest resources to other concerned citizens, and we give people the opportunity to volunteer for our campaigns.
Our campaign coordinator, Anasuya Claff, originally became involved with us by volunteering at an action in her home town. She headed up the successful actions that we ran between 2008 and 2010 and is excited about this new campaign targeting Aldi.
Anasuya: "It feels so great to get out and actually DO something. Getting involved in local actions is great for the soul, and knowing that we are making a difference in the world is what drives me to keep on! Aldi needs to step up to the plate and get real: there is no place in our future for anything other than clear labelling, reducing demand where possible and using sustainable palm oil where not, but it's up to us to tell Aldi that this is what we want."
And, to read more about the current palm oil situation you can read a free report just released by BOS Australia and the Palm Oil Action Group: http://www.palmoilaction.org.au/resources/resources-PalmOil-WhateveryAustralianneedstoknow.pdf.