The orangutan’s natural  habitat is tropical rainforest,  which is under threat from  the surging global demand  for palm oil.

This lucrative, fast-growing industry is akin to a “gold rush”,  with  palm oil plantation farmers  encroaching into ancient rainforest, felling trees to make way  for plantation after plantation – a  super highway of cheap to produce and easy to yield palm oil.

Some 60 million tonnes of palm  oil are harvested globally every  year more than rapeseed, sunflower, and soybean.

Palm oil is to cheap to produce, versatile and has the highest crop yield. Palm oil is in 50% of products  including food, cosmetics, health  products and biodiesel.

The Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil is an organisation  working worldwide to encourage  responsible palm oil farming.

RSPO is a membership organisation which works with businesses,  banks, governments, environmental groups and retailers in  an effort to curtail irreversible  damage to habitat and  wildlife.

As 85% of the world’s palm oil  is harvested in Indonesia and  Borneo, RSPO recognises the  growing threat to the critically  endangered orangutans.

RSPO certified palm oil plantations  cover an area approximately 22 times the size of Singapore,  which represents 14% of  the industry –  but there is still a  lot of work to be done.

The RSPO says: “Certification  is a seal of approval that the palm  oil used in the product is indeed  sustainably produced and  volumes are traceable.”

“Producers are certified  through strict verification of the  production process, to the stringent RSPO guidelines, by accredited certifying agencies and may  be withdrawn at any time on  infringement of the rules and  standards.”

“The certified sustainable palm oil (RSPO Oil) is traceable through the supply chain by certification of each facility along the supply chain that processes or uses the certified oil.”

Go Orange for Orangutans is   urging people to check products  for the RSPO certificate. 

To find out more about RSPO  go to www.rspo.org.

Chester Zoo staff lead orange appeal

Chester Zoo staff taking part in 'Go Orange for Orangutans'
Chester Zoo staff taking part in 'Go Orange for Orangutans'
 

More than 100 people,  schools and businesses have  registered to Go Orange for  Orangutans this October.

Chester Zoo got festivities  off to a swinging start by going orange last week. Staff  dressed up in orange clothes  and got involved in fundraising activities.

Other organisations involved included Reaseheath  Conservation Society, Westminster Community Primary  School, Moneypenny, Aaron &  Partners LLP and MBNA.

The Chronicle are backing  Chester Zoo’s Go Orange for  orangutans which is part of  the zoo’s Act for Wildlife initiative.

We want to hear about your fundraising initiatives and  publish your pictures of you going orange for orangutans.

Contact Barry Ellams on  01244 606431 or email barry. ellams@trinitymirror.com.

For more about the campaign go to www.actforwildlife.org.uk .