We’ve been hitting the pavement recently in our key Australian cities recently as part of a ten-day Unmask Palm Oil tour. Ben and myself have been meeting with policymakers, NGOs and business leaders to build connections on the Australian side of the Tasman.
Here’s a brief recap of the tour:
Ben kicked off the itinerary in Melbourne with a discussion with the Chief of Staff to the Victorian Minister for Health and policy officials from the department where we presented our argument of the health and ethical issues surrounding palm oil. This was followed by a meeting with Zoos Victoria who have been a key player in the Australian palm oil debate with their ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign. Ben discussed how we can collaborate with them in the coming months.
I joined Ben in Melbourne on Monday and we had the opportunity to attend a RSPO auditing seminar run by the auditing body, BM TRADA. We sat alongside industry representatives for an inside-look at the auditing process. Given our commitment to understanding and working with businesses it was useful to hear from different companies about the supply chain certification process and their take on it. It is a rigorous process which requires a resource and cost commitment but it was promising to hear that more and more businesses are making commitments to the sourcing and producing of certified sustainable palm oil. Ben wrapped up the event with a presentation on Unmask Palm Oil which was well received.
An opinion piece by Campaign Director, Ben Dowdle for the platform ‘Better Palm Oil Debate’