Malaysian Palm Oil Chief Challenges Australian Firm

Malaysian Palm Oil Chief Challenges Australian Firm

The head of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has challenged Australian chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea to explain itself | #Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has challenged Australian chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea to explain itself |, after Darrell Lea said it would become the first supermarket brand in Australia to eliminate palm oil from its chocolate products, opting to substitute sunflower oil in the name of doing “the right thing.”
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Chocolate Manufacturer Cites Environmental Concerns
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Darrell Lea has explained that its concerns are environmental, and cited the clearing of Southeast Asian rainforests to make way for palm oil plantations as well as concerns about the loss of habitat, impacts on endangered wildlife – particularly the orangutan, and carbon dioxide emissions.
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Malaysian Palm Oil Boss Dismisses Claims
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The Malaysian palm oil boss | Learn more on Commonshare | Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram, head of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), has dismissed these claims, calling them “utter nonsense.” He also challenged Darrell Lea to prove that they were dropping palm oil for sustainability reasons and not simply as a marketing ploy.
Sundram said that the claims of deforestation have been “going around since initiated by an NGO previously, but anyone worth their salt would know that it’s utter nonsense – we’re cultivating some 5.8 million hectares of land for palm oil today, and it’s taken many years from the 1970s till now just to reach that number.”
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Double Standard for Palm Oil?
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Sundram indicated that palm oil | Learn more on Commonshare | is subject to a great deal more scrutiny than other ingredients, challenging Darrell Lea to “prove that they are being fully sustainable with their products… there are also other ingredients such as cocoa, dairy and sugar so show us proof and certification that all of these are also certified sustainable.”
Sundram specifically mentioned dairy, pondering whether Darrell Lea can prove that “the dairy they are using is not contributing to any climate change and deforestation?” He also pointed that much of the sugar cane in Australia “is grown in Queensland and the Northern Territories where extensive land clearing is ongoing – can they prove that their sugar is as clean as consumers would expect? We want to know this, so as to understand why palm oil alone is being singled out for attack.”
On the subject of wildlife, Sundram took aim at Darrell Lea’s promotional video featuring an orangutan, and argued that Australia should not “keep pointing the finger at us when it comes to wildlife and conservation – the bushfires in Australia earlier this year which killed almost a billion animals has (sic) been shown by ecologists to be linked to human activity and agriculture.”
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Chocolate Firm Darrell Lea Responds
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For its part, Darrell Lea has responded with a firm insistence that it has acted in keeping with what its consumers are passionate about.
The company indicated it removed palm oil | Learn more on Commonshare | in response to consumer demand. The company has since “received overwhelming support from our consumers for the move.”
Lexicon
Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has challenged Australian chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea to explain itself | https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2020/10/13/Show-us-the-proof-Malaysian-palm-oil-chief-s-anger-as-Aussie-chocolate-firm-removes-ingredient-in-name-of-sustainability |: source from foodnavigator-asia website

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