Comments (4)
  1. Imogen Michel (reply)

    September 23, 2013 at 12:43

    These are really great and useful tips, thank you 🙂 I’ll definitely be checking out the UK lists for palm oil-free vegan products.

  2. Robert Goodland (reply)

    September 23, 2013 at 17:09

    The over-riding point is that there can be no sustainability of any activity that needs rainforest to be destroyed.

    Here is RainforestUK’s excellent guidance on oil palm-containing products

    Date: 02/09/2013
    In the latest investigation carried out by the Rainforest Foundation UK and Ethical Consumer magazine, over 25 of the UK’s biggest skincare companies were surveyed about their use of palm oil or its derivatives, a key ingredient in cosmetics.

    The survey – part of RFUK’s’Appetite for Destruction?’consumer guide to palm oil content in products – was carried out in response to the increasing threat that unsustainable palm oil is posing to the world’s rainforests, and consequently, to the people that rely almost entirely on these forests for their livelihoods.

    Some of the biggest names in skincare including Clarins, Estée Lauder and Superdrug, as well as ‘ethical’ brands Jason and Avalon, have scored poorly, while the top-scoring companies in the survey include Little Satsuma, Pure Nuff Stuff and REN.

    Simon Counsell, Executive Director of The Rainforest Foundation UK said:

    “Today we call on skincare product companies to face up to their environmental responsibilities, reduce their use of palm oil, and help ensure the long-term survival of Africa’s rainforest, its people and unique wildlife.”

    Click here [link missing – Ian] to see the complete guide on skincare products and find out more about the ‘Appetite for Destruction?’ campaign.

  3. utilitarian (reply)

    May 4, 2014 at 05:44

    It kind of amazes me to see no mention of palm oil that is sustainably grown (deforestation free) in colombia, brazil, and papua new guinea. for example, organic smart/earth balance are sustainably grown in brazil by agorapalma.

    • Catherine Laurence (reply)

      June 8, 2014 at 05:50

      Hi Utilitarian,

      We did look into these for the show and would definitely agree these sources are much more ethical. However, based on our research and what the experts told us, I still came to the conclusion noted in my blog post:

      “As for competitor certification schemes that set the bar higher, having a ‘gold standard’ does create a niche ethical product, but buying from this small pool would still encourage expansion by adding to overall demand and would not accelerate progress towards full industry buy-in as the RSPO aims to do.”

      That said, I agree it’s a nuanced issue and difficult to know where to draw the line. Interested to hear people’s thoughts…


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