Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Unilever, Henkel, the rainforests and Harapan..

I just finished watching a documentary and here I am again, writing although I was tired! Tiredness has left me after this..I can't sleep if I do not share this with you! I am an everyday supporter of nature and I try to inform and be informed with whatever has to do with ecology and sustainability so please feel free to share with me similar cases!

Next time you are at the supermarket* check in the ingredients of what you buy if there is Palm Oil in it. You will be surprised by how many times you will see it! It is around in 50% of all products and almost each room of a household has palmoil products in it!

Palm oil comes from...tadaaa.. Palm trees and Palm trees are the core of...(the every-day-disappearing-)Rain Forests! And what's the problem with that you will ask: 
Palm Forests are crucial for the environment as they are hotspots of biodiversity and filter vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.

There is a product in the german market called ‘Terra’** which is supposed to be an “eco” washing liquid and which myself actually bought once with the idea that I was helping the environment—TIP: ”eco” or “bio” doesn’t always mean that the product is actually promoting sustainability and the wellbeing of the environment. (in this video Henkel is talking about sustainability!!! They mention at one point that they use owls so that they dont use rat poison and this makes them sustainable!! what a marketing trick!! the poison, they keep it for the Palm Trees!)

Henkel supports that its product contains palm oil from cultivated palm trees..this means that the company plants their own palm trees and do not use the ones from the rain forests. After a long research and a visit in Malaysia and Indonesia of german journalists and Greenpeace Amsterdam, it was shown that:

1.     The responsible for the biggest plantations is a company called “United Plantations” (
2.     What United plantations did in Malaysia is that they destroyed an existing NATIVE rainforest(!!!) to plant huge amounts of palm trees for the production of palm oil.
3.     The people that work there are forced to use a pesticide which contains “parakoat”, one of the most harmful toxics (oh, yes, it is illegal!) for the human health and offcourse totally non-eco, non-bio!!
4.     In order to start planting, they needed to demolish apart from the whole rainforest, also small wooden houses of the malaysian people who owned the land. Whoever didn’t agree on giving their part, was put –democratically-into..jail..!

I have found also this graphic which explains the whole story in some pictures:

After all this, I see the world of supermarkets, advertisement, mass production, once more with an angry look..Anger that is quickly transformed into action. Anger itself wouldn’t help at all, anyway!

It is so shocking to see how much they take us for stupid: the logo of the Terra washing liquid is
“For a clean today and tomorrow!”
I really doubt our tomorrow to be that clean after all this..


'Harapan' is ta rain forest in Sumatra, Indonesia that is planning to become a "restoration forest"
'Harapan' means hope.. :)
*: if you ever go there because im sure that many of you, don’t!..I have been shopping on my local Alnatura (biological market) and always try to go to local markets or buy directly from the farmers
**: I haven’t written this post only against Terra. This is one of the many examples you can find on your own when shopping.

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