Asda Makes Ethical Move In Bid To Save Rainforests

Supermarket chain Asda is banning the sale of all products containing palm oil from unsustainable sources because of growing concerns that it is a major contributor towards the destruction of rainforests .
The Wal-Mart owned supermarket is the first of the ‘Big Five’ to make the move in bid to appear more eco friendly to shoppers. The retailer will not accept products from suppliers unless they can guarantee their palm oil is from sustainably run plantations.
Palm oil is one of the world’s largest traded commodities and is used as vegetable oil in an estimated 10 per cent of all produce such as cosmetics, chocolate and animal feed.
However the booming demand for the oil in Europe and Asia has come at a price as vast areas of rainforest are being raised to the ground to make way for plantations.
Asda has banned oil sourced from the worst affected regions in Borneo and Sumatra and hopes to have banned unsustainable palm oil from 500 products within the next 12 months.
The crackdown follows an intensive three-year campaign by environmental groups to raise awareness on the damages caused by the production of palm oil.
Chris Brown, Head of sustainable sourcing at Asda, said it would take time to work with suppliers to find sustainable supplies, but the supermarket was starting before the Roundtable report because of the speed of rainforest destruction. According to Friends of the Earth, an area the size of Wales is being cut down in Indonesia alone each year, and plam oil is a ‘major factor’.
Rainforest destruction accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, which play an important role in global warming and climate change.

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