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Zoos Victoria to drop Mondelez’s Cadbury products over palm oil fears

Zoos Victoria to drop Mondelez’s Cadbury products over palm oil fears
February 27, 2019

Zoos Victoria say they will no longer sell Cadbury chocolate or Natural Confectionery Company lollies at the Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary over concerns about the manufacturers refusing to disclose the origins of the palm oil used in their products.

The brands, each part of multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company Mondolez International’s product range, will be removed from Zoos Victoria retail outlets after the US-based company failed to declare where the palm oil used in their products comes from.

Zoos Victoria has long campaigned for the sustainable production of palm oil which is associated with widespread destruction of the habitats of animals like orangutans, tigers, elephants and gibbons.

The organisation gave its product suppliers - including Mondelez - six months to declare the origins of any palm oil used in their product before taking them off the shelves.

Palm oil is used in many packaged products - from ice cream to lipstick - but under current legislation it can be labelled on ingredient lists as 'vegetable oil', making it difficult for consumers to know if it's in the product they are purchasing.

Zoos Victoria Chief Executive Dr Jenny Gray said the organisation is calling for legislation that demands specific labelling of the ingredient, advising “they have not committed to certified sustainable palm oil and we cannot in good conscience keep selling those products.

"Consumer research shows that 95% of Australians want clear mandatory labelling of palm oil, so they can make an informed decision on what they consume.”

Zoos Victoria believes mandatory labelling of palm oil would put pressure on food companies to start using sustainably-produced palm oil.

Dr Gray added “we all just want to know what is in the products we consume and how the use of these ingredients affects the habitat of the precious wildlife we care about.”

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has been rejecting an application for the mandatory labelling of palm oil since 2006 saying that it develops standards on the basis of health reasons not ecological concerns.

In a statement to The Feed, a Mondelez spokesperson said 100% of the palm oil they use is sustainability produce - with 96% of the palm oil was traceable back to the mill.

The spokesperson advised “we share Zoos Victoria's concerns and we're committed to eradicating deforestation in the palm oil supply."

In November last year, a Greenpeace report found palm oil suppliers to Mondalez had destroyed 70,000 hectares of rainforest, including 25,000 hectares of orangutan habitat in Indonesia in just two years.

Mondalez swiftly announced it had cut ties with 12 suppliers.

Last year, Zoos Victoria removed Nestle from its kiosks and food carts in Melbourne, Werribee and Healesville after the company was suspended from an organisation that promotes the sustainable use of palm oil.

Images: Products such as Cadbury's 'furry friends' will not longer be sold at Zoos Victoria locations (top) and Melbourne Zoo orangutans Maimunah, 32, and her daughter Dewi, 8 (below, courtesy of Zoos Victoria/Alex Storer).

Related Articles

22nd January 2019 - Melbourne Zoo builds hydro gym for reptiles

26th October 2018 - Moshtix extends Zoos Victoria concert series partnership

7th May 2018 - Cadbury to back Netball Australia fundraising initiatives

21st May 2017 - Cadbury World attraction to expand in Dunedin

10th August 2016 - Zoos Victoria Awarded San Diego Zoo Conservation Medal

29th July 2016 - Melbourne Zoo highlights plight of orangutans with call for palm oil labelling

13th July 2015 - Orangutan escape leads to Melbourne Zoo lockdown

15th March 2015 - Melbourne Zoo welcomes first baby gorilla birth in 15 years

9th March 2015 - Cadbury passes on $16 million in Federal funds for visitor centre upgrade

22nd October 2014 - Melbourne Zoo Growing Wild area wins Kidsafe design award

18th August 2014 - Zoos SA reverses decision to end selling palm oil free ice cream

10th August 2014 - Ice Cream maker eliminates palm oil but loses Adelaide Zoo deal

3rd August 2011 - Melbourne Zoo rejects palm oil executive’s claim of orangutan distress

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