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** Update: Companies have started replying. I'm posting up the responses as they arrive here. **


Asda, Associated British Foods (including Jordans, Ryvita, ABAgri, Allies Bakeries), Body Shop, Cadbury (Kraft), Colgate, Co-Op, L'Oreal, McDonalds, Mars, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Neste Oil, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser (make Vanish), Sainsbury, Tesco, Unilever, Waitrose, Haribo

My letter

Palm oil is a vegetable oil grown in tropical climates. It is used increasingly within a wide range of products including foods like biscuits and cereals and in many cosmetic items. However clearing tropical rainforests for palm oil plantations in Borneo and Indonesia is having serious and damaging effects on wildlife, local communities and the environment. These effects are especially felt by orangutans, a critically endangered species which could be extinct within the next 20 years as their habitat is destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.

In response to this, many companies (listed alongside) have committed to use only sustainably sourced palm oil in their products by 2015.

By committing to use sustainable palm oil, companies are guaranteeing that deforestation has not occurred on primary forest, or land that is important for wildlife and communities, in order to make the palm oil that is found in their products.

This is great news! However as part of my campaign Orangutan Alert I want to check how close these companies are to achieving their 2015 commitments for sustainable palm oil. I intend to send the following letter out to the companies listed alongside and will post their replies onto this webpage. Please add your name to my campaign Orangutan Alert so that we can show companies that we are passionate about this issue.

Dear [company's name]

Iā€™m Ruth, and I am running a campaign as part of Channel 4ā€™s Battlefront to raise awareness about how palm oil can be a major driver of rainforest destruction and in some cases it is pushing critically endangered wildlife ā€“ like the orang-utan ā€“ closer to extinction.

I think it is totally brilliant, therefore, that your company has committed to getting 100% of your palm oil from sustainable sources at the latest by 2015. This will make a really positive difference to the survival of Orangutans.

As part of my campaign I want to report back on how close people are to meeting their targets, and the great work that is being done to switch to sustainable sources; would you be able to let me know how you are getting on with meeting your targets, and how much of the palm oil in your products is currently sustainable?

As an environmentally conscious consumer I applaud your commitment to sustainable palm oil, and look forward to hearing how you are making this a reality.


Ruth Crawford

I'm posting the replies as they arrive. You can check them out here.

Please add your name to the list of my supporters so that the campaign has an even bigger impact:


It is essential that we act now in order to save the endangered orangutan from extinction. Like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my youtube and sign up to the campaign: