Last week , Chester MP Chris Matheson called on ministers to redouble their efforts towards creating a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain.
During questions to the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Chris challenged ministers over sustainable palm oil, calling for support towards Chester Zoo’s sustainable palm oil project.
The zoo’s conservationists have developed the Sustainable Palm Oil City model, and in doing so helped Chester to become the first city to adopt Sustainable Palm Oil City status.
Chris stated: “These plantations are causing widespread habitat devastation of our precious rainforests.
“Production has risen rapidly in recent decades, raising concerns around the devastating environmental impact, including on endangered species.
“As a result, iconic species that rely on these rainforests, such as orangutans, Sumatran elephants and tigers are being pushed to near extinction.
“Such species are critically endangered, and will become extinct in our lifetimes if this destructive practice continues.”
He added: “Chester Zoo has led the way towards sustainability, collaborating with businesses, schools and manufacturers from across our region to help tackle the crisis.
“It is only through removing palm oil from the supply chains of our everyday products that we can stem the tide of climate destruction.
“I am calling on the government to take robust action to ensure that we deliver on the promise of The Amsterdam Declaration by supporting a Fully Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain by 2020.”
Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from the fruits of trees called African oil palms.
Once native to west and south west Africa, they are now planted and mass farmed across Southeast Asia specifically to produce palm oil on huge plantations.
Chris said: “I continue to raise awareness about this practise and encourage others to take the action necessary action to eradicate unsustainable palm oil production.”