Organised by NGO the Orangutan Alliance, the program has been designed to make-up for the lack of palm oil certification legislation Down Under by creating an opt-in option for grocery suppliers.
Profits gained from their program will go to supporting grass roots projects including reforestation, conservation in areas affected by non-sustainable palm oil.
“Consumers are becoming more informed, socially aware and are starting to purchase based on values.” said Maria Abadilla from the Orangutan Alliance.
“Look at successful brands like Nuttvia, Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies and Thank You stocked at major supermarkets, who are changing the brand economy and creating products that provide solutions for the consumers and the planet.”
Research conducted by the WWF has indicated that palm oil farming has had an adverse impact on the natural habitat of endangered animal species, such as orangutans and tigers.
The process of clearing the land for palm oil plantations has led to a widespread loss of rain forests in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, which in return has contributed to the worsening problem of climate change, research has found.
“If consumer demand is where change starts, then this is a starting indication for manufacturers to work towards transparency in labeling and more sustainable practices.” said Abadilla.
Orangutan Alliance have also has also recently completed new research that’s illustrated the the increasing buying power of the emerging ‘conscious consumer’.
While value for money and quality was still an important choice for Aussies, trust and sustainability are being increasingly considered by consumers.
The top five concerns of Australian grocery buyers when it comes to purchasing products in supermarkets are the country of origin; preservatives; artificial flavours; the presence of palm oil and GMOs.
70 per cent of respondents surveyed said no-palm oil and sustainability labeling would impact their purchase decisions, with 45 per cent willing to pay up to 10 per cent more for such a product.