Buy palm oil free chocolate



It’s Orangutan Awareness Week and what better time than to look at the issue of palm oil?

In regions such as Indonesia, the Orangutan & Sumatran tiger are losing out to human demand for palm oil. Their homes are torn down to make way for human demand.  The impact on species such as the Orangutan & Sumatran tiger have been catastrophic and it continues to be so. 

Ethical Consumer has lots of information about buying palm oil free products and it rates companies for palm oil, either for being a palm oil free company or for only using certified sustainable or organic palm oil.  It also lists products from the best-rated companies that are palm oil free.  This helps you buy with greater knowledge

Ethical Consumer says that palm oil devastates rainforests, ecosystems and communities.  It’s in 50% of packaged products on supermarket shelves so it’s very difficult to avoid. 

Rainforests are the lungs of our planet.   If they are not in good health, we cannot be.

5 actions you can take to tackle the palm oil problem

  1. Buy palm oil free products – check out labelling (see below**) – or buy products with sustainable palm oil in them.  Build up a list of products on your phone or keep it in your shopping bag so you know instantly which products have a green light and which aren’t.  It will take time.
  2. Avoid companies which are not using sustainable palm oil now.   Promises are meaningless and are probably made in the hope the problem will go away.  Support the companies who have taken action and use no palm oil or sustainable palm oil.
  3. Add consumer pressure to companies who use unsustainable palm oil – watch for petitions to put the pressure on them or start your own!
  4. Ask when you buy if products have palm oil in them and if so, whether that’s sustainable palm oil or not. Just asking can raise awareness amongst customer service staff.
  5. Share goods you find that don’t have palm oil or which have sustainable palm oil in them on social media to raise awareness of the problem

Consider whether you really, really need what you’re about to buy.

You immediately hit a block - how do you know which products have palm oil in them?

Ethical Consumer can help in a couple of ways…

They have guidelines on how to spot if palm oil is in products and memorising the 4 words will help you spot over half of the fatty acid compounds that are often made up from palm oil.  Ethical Consumer says that “spotting an ingredient whose name includes one of these root words does not mean it is definitely made from palm, but it is a clue which can be followed up by contacting the company.”

Four words to watch for
**Four words to watch for

Palm oil free list from Ethical Consumer 

Ethical Consumer's Palm Oil Free information

Divine Fairtrade Milk Chocolate Coins - 65g

Divine Fairtrade Milk Chocolate Coins - 65g from Ethical Superstore


Ethical Consumer also have a list of palm oil free products. (Subscribe and you’ll get even more detailed information.)  Ethical Superstore have palm oil free chocolate bars from a number of different companies including Willie's Cacao, Equal Exchange, Montezumas, Moo Free, Divine Chocolate, Vivani and Seed and Bean.

Ethical Superstore also lists nearly 2,000 products which carry their Palm Oil Free products and ethics tag or which use sutainable palm oil.

Within the  sustainable palm oil section, there are a huge range of products available, from make-up to soap, skin and hair care, toothpaste, chocolate, food and more.   

Orangutan Foundation International has a long list of alternative names for palm oil and it also has a Palm Oil Wallet Card you can download (scroll down their web page) with some of the names to look for on it.  The card is also handy for raising awareness when you’re out and about.

Chester Zoo's Act for Wildlife also have information on sustainable palm oil shopping,whilst Ethical Consumer has a list of chocolate bars you can buy online which are palm oil free if you're looking for chocolate.

Earlier this year in April 2018, Iceland supermarkets announced plans to ban palm oil in own-brand products - find out more here

The issue of palm oil is a tricky one for a whole range of reasons and Ethical Consumer have an article here in which it debates whether we should all avoid palm oil.