Lush launches campaign to highlight destruction caused by palm oil

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Palm oil

A campaign launched by progressive cosmetics firm Lush to underline the destruction caused by some palm oil producers is gathering attention.

The global naturals player has launched the campaign in its domestic UK market with the introduction of a limited edition Jungle soap, from which a portion of the sales will be donated to charity The Rainforest Foundation.

The green scented bar is made from Lush’s palm-free soap formulation, and will retail for £2.75 (€3.10) - is available throughout its network of UK shops, as well as online.

The production of palm oil has drawn much criticism from environmentalists because of the impact unethical farming practices can have on the environment and particularly wildlife.

Focusing on palm oil production in Sumatra

The Lush campaign focuses on Bukit Tagapuluh National Park, in Eastern Sumatra, Indonesia – an area consisting of thirty hills that is home to the Orang Rimba people and a wide variety of wildlife, including Orangutan.

Lush says it wants to draw attention to the fact that Sima Mas, one of the world’s largest producers of paper, pulp and palm oil, has recently built a road through the park as part of plans to log tens of thousands of hectares of forest to make way for palm crops.

Already the campaign has gathered significant media attention in the UK. The instore promotion features giant cardboard cut outs of trees through which customers can peak from holes in the leaves to have their photos taken, under a caption that highlights the Sima Mas plans.

Unilever puts its oar in too

But sustainable palm oil production has not been the reserve of Lush. Even personal care giant Unilever has been campaigning to ensure ethical supplies of palm oil.

Back in June the company’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman re-stated the importance of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as a crucial measure in reducing deforestation.

As the co-founder of RSPO n 2004, along with WWF, Polman’s words reflected the company’s stance on the conversion to sustainable palm oil.

Polman’s words followed earlier criticism from the WWF to highlight the impotency of the RSPO pledge to convert to a sustainable product, revealing that only 1 per cent of the sustainable palm oil produced has been bought.

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