Chocolate maker removes controversial ingredient
Darrell Lea will change more than 100 of its products to remove palm oil, citing the "major devastation" the controversial ingredient causes.
The two year process saw the company review more than 200 individual ingredients in its products.
The iconic chocolate company says it is the first Australian supermarket brand to go totally palm oil-free and is now calling on others to follow suit.
Darrell Lea's marketing director Tim Stanford said the company had listened to feedback from customers and "wanted to do the right thing".
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"There is no doubt that palm oil production causes major devastation to rainforests and endangered animals, such as the orangutan," he said.
With palm oil sometimes labelled as vegetable oil or vegetable fat, Darrell Lea wants other brands to reconsider its inclusion in their products.
The brand will be replacing palm oil with sunflower oil which Mr Stanford said "doesn't affect the taste look or feel of our products".
Palm oil-free Darrell Lea products should start hitting shelves this week, with the company expecting all of its confectionary to be palm oil free by November.
"We call on all businesses, not only in the confectionery industry, but across the board to look into their supply chain and make better decisions about the ingredients they use," Mr Stanford said.
Darrell Lea looked at my stash of 4 blocks (including the amazing pb&j, damn!), went 'now with no palm oil', and cackled insanely at the knowledge they now own my soul.— Kate Murray (Black Lives Matter) (@kateemma22) August 27, 2020
Darrell Lea is a Australia🇦🇺 Est. 1927 🍬🍫🍬Chocolate & Confectionary. No Longer using Palm Oil in its Products. Awesome for the Planet & these Gorgeous Guys for starter's. It's a Start.— Leanne Blake (@LeanneCocolea73) August 27, 2020
@DarrellLea_AU congratulations for going palm oil free. Will now, once again, be able to enjoy your delicious chocolate products.— 💧Janice Candy (@JaniceCandy3) August 27, 2020
Congratulations congratulations Darrell Lea you always have made beautiful chocolate now you make wonderfull caring yummy chocolate.BRILLIANT— jenny pike (@jennypike8) August 27, 2020
WHAT IS PALM OIL?
Made from the fruit pulp of the oil palm tree, palm oil plantations are grown in tropical regions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Colombia, New Guinea and Ghana.
The issue with palm oil stems from the way it is grown can be environmentally unsustainable, leading to mass pollution and loss of native species.
According to The Orangutan Project, palm oil plantations have been a major factor in deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, where 85 per cent of the world's palm oil is produced.
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Palm oil plantations are the biggest cause of rainforest destruction in these countries, where the United Nations reports an area of forest the size of 300 soccer fields is lost every hour.
This loss of rainforest displaces animals such as the orangutan and causes air pollution.
Palm oil is a common ingredient in food and cosmetic products, with alternate names such as palm oil kernel, palmitate, palmate, palmitic acid, elaeis guineensis and hydrated palm glycerides hexadecanoic.
Vegetable oil in a product that contains saturated fats may also contain palm oil.
Zoos Victoria has campaigned to have mandatory labelling of all Australian products containing palm oil since 2009.
Originally published as Brand removes controversial ingredient