Our palm oil-free shopping guide lists a wide range of palm oil-free supermarket products.
Auckland Zoo's goal in producing this guide is to assist you to make informed choices when you shop.
You can also download our handy buy palm oil-free wallet card and use it when you shop. It lists the names and likely names for palm oil, so you can identify other products that are palm oil-free.
If you'd like printed copies, pick some up when you're next at the Zoo, or email us, and we'll post some out.
Our palm oil-free shopping guide contains products known to be palm oil-free. As we research more products, we'll add them in.
We have done everything we can to check that all the products listed here are palm oil-free. However, because there's currently no legal requirement for palm oil or its derivatives to be labelled on product packaging in New Zealand, it can be a challenge!
Only three vegetable oils must be labelled in food products in New Zealand and Australia. These are peanut, sesame and soybean oil due to some people suffering allergies to these ingredients.
All other vegetable oils can be labelled generically as vegetable oil, including palm oil. A good indication that the oil used in product is palm oil is when the fat content is stated as being more than 25%. It is also worth noting that palm oil is broken down into many derivatives and used in a large range of products. Our handy buy palm oil-free wallet card (pdf) lists all the names and likely names for palm oil, and is great to use when you're out shopping.
Labelling laws in New Zealand and Australia do not require palm oil to be identified and unsuspecting shoppers are unknowingly contributing to the destruction of rainforests and the decline of the orangutan and many other rainforest species.
There are some certified sustainable palm oil plantations, but only around 4% of the world's palm oil is certifiably sustainable and this 4% cannot be traced back to the plantation that produced it. Sustainable palm oil means rainforests have not been recently cleared and biodiversity has not been harmed. Currently, there is no truly sustainable palm oil available.
Unfortunately, certified sustainable palm oil is more costly than other palm oil and many companies are choosing the cheaper option. Demand is increasing at up to 10% every year, so it is up to consumers to put pressure on manufacturers to source sustainable alternatives, or prove they obtain their palm oil from truly certifiably sustainable sources.
At present, being a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) - an industry led group, not an independent body - is still not a 100% guarantee that palm oil is from a sustainable source, but it's a start. Palm oil is quick to grow, cheap to make, and cheap to buy. This causes devastating effects to the environment. Click here to find out more on the RSPO.
We welcome your help in maintaining this guide, which has been compiled by zoo staff in their spare time, systematically going down supermarket aisles checking labels item by item, as well as contacting manufacturers. As you can imagine, this is a lengthy process!
For more about orangutans, palm oil, and ethical shopping visit: