The purpose of this campaign is to minimise and hopefully eliminate the use of palm oil in Australia. Palm oil production is a massive problem affecting mostly the rainforests of Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Due to the massive demand for palm oil over 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared every hour. This is a problem because the land that is being cleared is extremely important for the sustainability of animal life. With 51 animal species and over 236 plant species already at risk of extinction because of palm oil production there needs to be something done now.
Palm oil is comes from the palm oil plant, there are two types of palm oil: palm oil and palm oil kernel. It is produced by crushing and extracting the seed of the fruit. Palm oil is present in over 50% of products on supermarket shelves today, it is often labelled as vegetable oil and is in baked products like bread and biscuits, fried products like chips, confectionaries like chocolate and cosmetics like shampoo.
There are 570 000 people employed in the Malaysian palm oil industry and produces export earnings of about $22 000 000 per year. An industry like this is not easily shut down and cannot be done overnight which is why this campaign is aimed at the Australian public alone. According to the WWF there is 20 million hectares of abandoned land in Indonesia that could be used for palm oil plantations. But a lot of palm oil companies have ties with logging firms, the timer they cut down is very valuable so if they clear forest the get money twice, once for the timber and later on for the production of palm oil.
These Palm oil companies are selfish and have no regard for the environment or the people that consume it. There is currently over 50 species of animal being put in danger of extinction particularly the orang-utan, there are 50 orang-utans are killed each week from deforestation. With over 236 plant species at risk of extinction and that number being raised every day this is also affecting the animals because some animals species depend on certain plants to live and if those plants become rare or no longer exist the animals depending on those plants will no longer exist.
Palm oil use cannot be stopped overnight it must be done by educating people of the products containing palm oil and showing them what palm oil production is doing to our environment. This Campaign is extremely important because these companies cannot be shut down they are too powerful, if the demand for palm oil decreased there would be less of a need to destroy precious rainforest home to seriously endangered animals. The only way to stop this destructive trade is to slowly eliminate the use of unsustainable palm oil and replace it by using sustainable palm oil.