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No Palm Oil ~ The support a Midlands chocolatier is giving the rainforests

Louis Barnett of Chokolit

Louis Barnett of Chokolit

Louis Barnett of Chokolit, who recently returned from a trip to sauce ethical chocolate from Mexcio, explains the impact of Palm Oil on our endangered species and what he is doing to help reduce the impact.

“The impact of the palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia is dominating the global palm oil market much of this is produced in Borneo.

Palm oils are extracted from the fruit of the Palm, the palm oil is used in the food, cosmetic, detergents and bio fuels industries. Fire is the chief way to clear logged land for palm oil plantations in the dry seasons fires can quickly spread out of control. The polluting haze affects that health of millions of people across asia.Co2 emissions are the consequence of clearing the forest ready to plant the palm oil trees.

Indonesia trails only china and the USA in co2 emissions, cultivating the islands peat rich soil releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Palm oils are a substance that is used in a wide variety of products that line the shelves and is certainly not added to enhance that quality or taste.

Consumers need more education in this country on being aware of how much palm oil is used as either a substitute ingredient or as bulk filler. Often in the UK this is only referred to as vegetable oil making it invisible to the consumer to know whether they are supporting this destruction.

It is well know that quality chocolate will not contain any vegetable oil let alone palm oil, though   larger chocolate industries find the cost benefit of using palm oil as bulk fillers as this allows them to spread the chocolate content very thinly in their product. The demand from supermarkets and low cost budget shoppers helps drive a manufacturing   process that sees ever decreasing cocoa content in the chocolate as more bulk palm oil filler is used.
Fact. In Europe Cadbury chocolate cannot be called milk chocolate as the cocoa content is below their minimum; it has to be called family chocolate.

I am well aware that I have to keep the pace moving as the message must always be put across to the public on how they have a responsibility on choices in food or products to protect the environment and the animals that depend upon it. Supermarkets are constantly asking producers to supply them ever cheaper goods; this in turn makes the producer source from ever cheaper suppliers. This is acceptable until it falls below  a quality threshold that means that some-one or some thing is being exploited for the benefit of the supermarket.
The unintentional consequence of this action is the decimation of wildlife habitat as agriculture increases into virgin territory.
I decided to make a range of chocolate bars  “ Biting Back Bars”  that would raise awareness to the plight of endangered animals and provide selected charities with funds to support  projects that really make a  difference . From animal orphanages to  poacher protection schemes.

I have a responsibility to ensure that my products do not harm the environment and that my customers have a quality product as well. It is possible to have both that’s why i invented my “no palm oil “ sticker and put it on all my products , hopefully other manufacturers will join in and use it.”

Read more on Palm oil impact and BBC Panorama’s programme HERE

For more information on Louis and his campaign visit www.louisbarnett.co.uk

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