‘Green palm oil’ claims land Cadbury’s in sticky mess

22/08/2009

They are breaking open the chocolate bars at Auckland zoo in New Zealand this week. The keepers have been running a campaign to get Cadbury to remove palm oil from its chocolate. It’s been headline news down there, since Cadbury’s recently added the palm oil to make local Dairy Milk “softer”.

Zoo staff simply refused to consume or sell bars made with oil grown on former rainforest once occupied by endangered orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. On Monday, Cadbury gave in. They grovelled. “We got it wrong… we hope Kiwis will forgive us. I’m really sorry,” said local managing director Matthew Oldham. They were going back to cocoa butter, he said.

Of course, this about-face doesn’t affect the brand in countries such as Britain, where palm oil is a long-standing ingredient. So Cadbury still looks like a soft target for campaigners.

But there was something else buried in this PR own goal. A continuing greenwash that should have Cadbury hauled over the coals at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a corporate initiative to promote the sustainable production of the world’s most ubiquitous food ingredient, of which Cadbury is a founder member.

On Monday, Oldham told New Zealanders that despite the debacle “Cadbury is a responsible business and we purchase certified sustainable palm oil.” The company has “independent GreenPalm certification for the palm oil purchased for its Dairy Milk range”.

The implication was that the zookeepers were wrong to fuss about Cadbury’s palm oil because they bought the right stuff. So who is right?

Read the full story on the Guardian website.

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10 more things we didn’t know

30/11/2008

1010 things we didn’t know, from last weeks news, sliced, diced and processed for your convenience.

Courtesy of BBC Magazine Monitor, your recommended daily allowance of news and culture.

  1. The 999 emergency number was chosen over 111 because telegraph wires rubbing together in the wind transmitted the equivalent of 111.
  2. In space, an item as small as a toolbag can be seen from Earth.
  3. There are only eight mycologists in the UK.
  4. US Intelligence kept a file on Tony Blair’s personal life.
  5. Premium chocolate tasters don’t swallow the goods.
  6. Police use curry to combat alleged drugs possession.
  7. A dog’s mucus enhances its sense of smell.
  8. The speechwriting “tricolon technique” has been used by Julius Caesar and Barack Obama.
  9. A French cologne has a scent inspired by the smell of human sperm.
  10. Gordon Brown writes to X Factor contestants.

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