Money over orangutan safety for Adelaide Zoo

orangutanAdelaide Zoo has made the decision to ditch local South Australian ice creams in favour of monetary rewards offered by a multinational.

Adelaide Zoo moved to Golden North Ice Creams a few years ago removing Streets ice creams as they contained palm oil.

Adelaide Company, Golden North Ice Creams spent a year removing palm oil from their products to meet the standards of Adelaide Zoo. Now after an offer with an undisclosed ‘financial benefit’ from Unilever the zoo will begin to sell Streets ice creams again.

As part of the deal Streets will move to certified sustainable palm oil by 2020. In 6 years’ time this company will finally have sustainable palm oil. This can be seen as an issue when the real details of what sustainable refers to are revealed.

Certified sustainable palm oil means that no new forests will be cleared to produce these products. This does not prevent companies from tearing down more forests until they become certified.

The Adelaide Zoo states on their website that ‘The United Nations has warned that orangutans could be extinct within a generation if we don’t act quickly.’ More recent predications see this occurring in the next 10 years. Streets will have half this time to continue tearing down the rainforest.

Angry visitors have flooded the Zoos SA website and news sites covering the story with negative comments. Many people have found this decision to be completely against the zoos mission.

Since the deal was announced 6 Adelaide companies have approached Golden North to begin selling their products at their stores. These will be replacing streets products in some of the outlets.

During the week a petition began in Adelaide to have the Zoo hold a meeting where members would vote on whether the zoo should reverse the decision. At the moment the petition has half of the 50 members required to make the meeting happen.

Zoos SA had ‘been working to ensure (their) zoos are palm-oil free.’ Time will tell if they return to these goals.

Find out more about palm oil here.

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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