Apes Protest Against Palm Oil

Protesters from Greenpeace, some dressed in ape suits, have demonstrated at the premises of Unilever in both London and the North West of England.

Unilever, the global Anglo-Dutch company with interests in food, drink, cleaning products and personal care items, is a major user of palm oil in many of its products. Formed back in 1930 as a merger between the British soap makers, Lever Brothers, and Dutch firm Margarine Unie, the company amalgamated to pool its resources as both products (soap & margarine) relied heavily in the use of palm oil.

Recently rain forests have been destroyed in Malaysia & Indonesia to make way for palm plantations to fuel the world's burgeoning desire for products that happen to use palm oil. As a result many orang-utans have been displaced and killed; some species of orang-utan are on the endangered species list, with the Sumatran orang-utan being critically endangered.

The Greenpeace protests at the Unilever HQ in London and the manufacturing plant in the Wirral, Merseyside, have involved some 50 protesters, highlighting the need for Unilever to urgently introduce sustainable methods of palm oil usage.

Unilever does chair the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil which aims to "promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil" but Greenpeace fears the slow progress of the group. Whilst the RSPO discusses ways to be sustainable rainforests are still being cleared to make way for the production of palm oil.

Unilever states that it is leading the way to find sustainable palm oil solutions but this could simply be just Greenwash.