7 Must-See Conservation Documentaries that will Inspire you to change the world

As consumers we are influenced by a number of things when it comes to our actions and even our buying choices. Now and again, a documentary comes out that completely unveils a new way of thinking or highlights why something needs to change. If you are a Netflix buff or simply want to see a new point of view, or why people are so passionate about an issue then you should check out some of these documentaries that will change the way you view animals, conflict palm oil and even how you consume. Documentaries have a way of increasing people’s commitment to an environmental cause and we hope it does for you. 

  • Before the Flood (on Netflix)

After he drowned in Titanic, there became a real-life disaster that Leonardo DiCaprio is still desperately trying to fix. He really laid it out for us in 2016’s Before the Flood. In this film, DiCaprio visits leaders and brilliant minds like Musk and really discusses how climate change is causing devastation. It is important to remember that before you fix a problem, you must first address that there is an issue.  There are many people denying climate change is even a thing.  This film really explains how climate change is impacting our world. Discover the culprits and the many solutions which can prevent the worst impacts of climate change and unlock clean energy solutions. 

  • Blackfish (on Netflix)

    This 2013 documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite came out and talked about the conditions of whales held captive by Sea World. This film changed how we care for and view whales. It also created such an uproar, that Sea World changed the way it catches and shows whales. If this film shows anything, it shows how if a person puts their mind to something they can accomplish it. This film was even responsible in changing the ending of the “Finding Dory” film so its much more positive and supportive for marine animals.

  • Inconvenient Truth (on Netflix)

The 2006 documentary should have stopped climate change then and there. Not only did this film have the riveting Al Gore speaking about our current predicament, but it gave multiple solutions to our problem. The graphic illustrations of where we are at when it comes to carbon emissions is nothing less than alarming.  



  • Red Ape (online https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6jfmg0)

    New BBC documentary that was released in May, 2018. For the last decade, a team of front line medics has been fighting to save Borneo's critically endangered orangutans. Armed with cameras, International Animal Rescue has documented their struggle: pulling apes from devastated jungle, giving emergency medical care, rehabilitating and releasing the healthiest orangutans back into the wild. This is both the story of their life-saving work and of how one of our closest wild relatives has been pushed to the brink of extinction.

Red Ape.PNG


  • Cowspiracy (on Netflix)

 This film draws the attention to the inconvenient link between animal agriculture and ecological disasters. The film looks at various environmental concerns, including global warming, water use, deforestation and ocean dead zones, and suggests that animal agriculture is the primary source of environmental destruction. 



  • A Plastic Ocean (on Netflix)

Filmed over four years, the makers of the film shines a spotlight on how ocean plastic has polluted our waterways. They show eye opening footage of plastic being ingested by sea life and further down the food chain, how we also ingest it. This documentary calls all of us to implement a wave of change, helping us open our eyes to the plastic issue. 



  • Racing Extinction (on Netflix)   

The film deals with several examples of the overarching theme of the Anthropocene Extinction, in that the spread of Homo sapiens has caused the greatest mass extinction since the KT event 66 million years ago, including global warming and poaching, and the efforts of scientists, photographers and volunteers to protect endangered species. The film implicates overpopulation, globalisation and animal agriculture as leading causes of extinction.



As the Orangutan Alliance we support consumer choice when it comes to conflict palm oil. We have developed the Orangutan Alliance Palm Oil Free Certification so that consumers can have a voice on this issue. Please follow us or like our social media pages and join the movement that promotes conscious consumerism and new solutions to this issue. For more information, please visit www.orangutanalliance.org 

7 Conservation Projects that Started From Everyday People Like You

7 Conservation Projects that Started From Everyday People Like You

Some of the greatest innovations that have changed our world were created by everyday people who thought it, then did something about it.  

If you're thinking you would like to be a part of healing the Earth, then know that not only can you, you are the solution to our environmental problems. You are our only hope…

Global Brands Join Palm Oil Free Movement with Orangutan Alliance - why what you purchase matters

Global Brands Join Palm Oil Free Movement with Orangutan Alliance - why what you purchase matters

In the dawn of Iceland Foods UK going palm oil free, bath and beauty brand Lush buying land to save endangered species, a new movement into palm oil-free gains momentum and for important reasons. 

UK body & skincare company Bloomtown, who won the Best Brand award at FreeFrom Skincare Awards last year, joins other international brands to be certified palm oil free by Orangutan AllianceThey join Canadian beauty brand  LOA and Nuttvia brand Hazelnut Spread (distributed in Australia and NZ as well as Europe and Asia) to get behind Orangutan Alliance’s international palm oil-free certification amongst other well-known brands.

Launched in 2017, Orangutan Alliance International Palm Oil-Free Certification team comprise of qualified food, beauty, product development and sustainability experts who wanted to assist through consumer choice on the issue of conflict palm oil. Orangutan Alliance, a registered charity, advocates for consumer choice as well as supports grassroots conservation and forest protection projects affected by conflict palm oil, though profits from their certification program.

 “Our team has developed an easy to recognise, clear international palm oil free logo and labelling style guide that can be easily applied for food, household and beauty products for the industry to adopt so that consumers can easily identify if the product is palm oil free”. said Maria Abadilla Founder and Chairperson of Orangutan Alliance

 “Consumers are now wanting full disclosure in their food beyond allergen declarations for environmental to ethical reasons and we are here to provide that choice.” said Abadilla

“There needs to be new ingredient solutions coming from the industry including new options, not requiring so much land associated with deforestation.” said Abadilla

Bloomtown, Orangutan Alliance’s first UK palm oil free certified brand, was launched in April 2016 by husband and wife co-founders Medwin Culmer and Preyanka Clark Prakash and boasts stellar ethical accreditations from The Ethical Company Organisation and The Good Shopping Guide.

“My husband and I launched Bloomtown Ltd out of our kitchen in 2016 after spending 2 years in Indonesia and seeing a real need for palm oil-free options in the beauty industry. said Clark Prakash

Spencer Angeltvedt from Loa Skin said “The food and personal care industries need an ingredient revolution. Orangutan Alliance is playing an active part in this, by creating a palm oil-free certification system that is absolutely necessary for consumer awareness. The founder, Maria, genuinely cares deeply about orangutans and the rainforests in which they live. I will always support them.”

 Nuttvia Hazelnut Spread Founder Mark Hanna said “We listened to consumers and created a great tasting product that offers them an alternative that is palm oil free and had less sugar”

Maria Abadilla adds:

Abadilla adds“If demand is where change starts, then it’s up to consumers to change the way they buy and vote to promote transparency in the industry. They should also consider supporting the amazing work that so many NGO’s are doing on the ground while we work for change to occur”.

To find out more about Orangutan Alliance, please visit www.orangutanalliance.org.

An important collaboration giving consumers choice when it comes to conflict palm oil

An important collaboration giving consumers choice when it comes to conflict palm oil

Orangutan Alliance is excited to announce an important collaboration bringing even greater awareness to the issues of conflict palm oil, by offering palm oil free products that empowers consumers to be part of the solution.

Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations are now partnering to provide a consolidated and reliable palm oil free certification and labeling program that clearly identifies consumer products that are palm oil free. 

Why Palm Oil Free?

Palm oil is used in more than half of everything on the shelf at your local supermarket. Shampoo, chocolate bars, ice cream, biscuits: palm oil is used so widely now that it is one of world’s leading causes of deforestation. In the words of the Union of Concerned Scientists …

Beyond its global warming and human health impacts, palm oil production also takes a toll on biodiversity and human rights. Only about 15 percent of native animal species can survive the transition from primary forest to plantation. Among the species vulnerable to palm oil expansion are orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants. Furthermore, palm oil growers have also been accused of using forced labor, seizing land from local populations, and other human rights abuses.”

This important collaboration sends a message to big brands to source their ingredients responsibly, to stop producing products that cause deforestation and threaten critical species like orangutans.

Who are Palm Oil Investigations (POI)?

Since 2013 Palm Oil Investigations have been raising awareness and educating consumers about the impacts of unregulated Palm Oil production and how often it is used in every day household products. At the same time they place pressure on brands to use only fully traceable supply that is not contributing to deforestation or remove palm oil and palm derived ingredients from their products. They also believe in the importance of having one distinctive palm oil free logo to help consumers when they do their shopping.

How about Orangutan Alliance?

The Orangutan Alliance is a team of professional beauty, food technology and labelling experts working across Australasia, Europe and the Americas certifying consumer products as palm oil free. Orangutan Alliance recognise that consumers want to be part of the solution to unregulated and conflict palm oil, so they aim to bridge the gap between consumers (who buy palm oil free based on personal choice) and manufacturers (who are driven by consumer demand) and NGOS (who deliver grassroots conservation programs to restore forests and rescue endangered species such as Orangutans). Orangutan Alliance is a not for profit organisation so profits from their certification program will be going to fund grassroots conservation and forest projection.

What does the collaboration between POI and OA mean for consumers?

This new collaboration between Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations has three clear benefits for consumers, manufacturers and the general public.

(1) One clear Palm Oil Free logo.

Palm Oil Investigations and Orangutan Alliance are encouraging consolidation of palm oil free labeling around the world. No more confusion. When you go shopping look for the Orangutan Alliance palm oil free logo on the product label. You’ll know that the product has been checked by food technology and beauty professionals and is palm oil free. You’ll also know that the certification of this product has contributed to reforestation and orangutan rescue projects.

(2) A stronger, clearer voice to end conflict palm oil

Two distinct organisations with one clear voice. Orangutan Alliance and Palm Oil Investigations are both committed to eliminating unregulated and conflict palm oil. Meaning palm oil that is grown and produced without regard for the law or the environment including forests, the animals or the people who live on the land.

(3) More environmental reporting

Now Palm Oil Investigations (POI) has an accurate and reliable palm oil free certification partner they are concentrating on wider and louder environmental awareness campaigns. More people will learn about the devastating impacts of unregulated and conflict palm oil. More people will learn how their choices at the supermarket can make a difference to the future of the Orangutans (and our planet earth). More big brands will be forced to pay attention to consumer demands for ethical products.

What can you do to help right now?

Our earth is one large community which connects us all. And if we all work together we can still save the orangutans, this is our strongest reason for hope. Us. You and me.

We at Orangutan Alliance and our friends over at Palm Oil Investigations ask you today to …

•       Get educated. Learn about the problem of unregulated and conflict palm oil.

•       Support Orangutan Alliance by liking our Facebook page (plus read and share our posts) and following our Instagram too.

•       Look for our palm oil free certification or tag a brand to get certified

•       Support our friends at Palm Oil Investigations (POI)

The collaboration between Palm Oil Investigations (POI) and Orangutan Alliance is a reason to celebrate. As more of us from consumers to environmental groups unite our voice, the more chance manufacturers and regulators of consumer products will listen.

Want to protect endangered species? Here are key forest areas that need protecting

Want to protect endangered species?  Here are key forest areas that need protecting

World Forests Day is an international day to celebrate the ‘lungs of our planet’ and to recognise the contribution that trees make to our lives. This year, International Day of Forests 2018 is being used to promote the key role that forests play in the sustainable development of cities.

Did you know that over the next 30 years more than 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities? And while we do agree that making trees a fundamental part of urban expansion is essential. We at Orangutan Alliance also want to use World Forests Day as a reminder of the plight of the world’s significant forests and the rapid rate at which they are diminishing.

World Consumer Rights Day: promoting sustainable consumption and ethical production

World Consumer Rights Day: promoting sustainable consumption and ethical production

This March 15th, Orangutan Alliance would like to recognise World Consumer Rights Day 2018. A time to bring awareness across the world to unsafe, unfair and unethical practices that affect consumers. 

“Do we really need always to be able to just get anything we want at any time just because we pay money for it? And do we ever think about the often forced child labour that’s been used to grow some of these foods so that we can get them cheaply because the labour is cheap or even not paid for at all?”

Dr Jane Goodall, Environmentalist, Researcher (Chimpanzees)

Consumers International (for almost 60 years) has been tirelessly campaigning for consumer rights all over the world, and we at Orangutan Alliance are especially interested in consumer rights relating to the ethical conduct of producers and promoting sustainable consumption.                  

So what are consumer rights?

Apart from the fundamental right to access essentials (sufficient food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation); consumer rights also include the right to be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life.

And who polices consumer rights?

In a sense we all do. Consumer Rights are outlined in the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection and are recognised internationally by the governments of UN member nations. But it’s up to us to let our governments know we take those consumer rights very seriously.                  

Orangutan Alliance is a consumer interest group

As a consumer interest and and product certification organisation, Orangutan Alliance is currently advocating for greater transparency in product labeling. We believe consumers have the right to know exactly which ingredients are used in the products we buy, as well as how they have been sourced.  

If you’ve been following our work you’ll know that we are raising awareness on the environmental costs of conflict palm oil and in the absence of transparency consider palm oil free options. In several countries, it’s almost impossible to know if palm oil has been used or even how its sourced during manufacturing.

What are these funny names listed below?

Oh they’re just a few of the MORE THAN 200 ways palm oil can be listed on a product label. Why not use World Consumer Rights Day to write to your local member of government and ask that palm oil be clearly labeled on consumer products and refer to your own rights to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice.










+ 200 more

Sustainable Consumption

Consumers International and World Consumer Rights Day also promotes  sustainable consumption (which we at Orangutan Alliance also support). Sustainable consumption is all about doing more with less and being a more responsible consumer.


“There is no definitive way to be a ‘sustainable and responsible consumer’. This can simply mean reconsidering a purchase; fixing or reusing an existing product; or choosing a product certified as having a beneficial environmental or social impact.”

Consumers International


Orangutan Alliance PALM OIL FREE Certification

Consumers International suggest that choosing products certified for positive social impact is a big part of being a sustainable and responsible consumer. If you aren’t already aware, Orangutan Alliance can certify consumer food, household and beauty products as 100% palm oil free. Why not use World Consumer Rights Day 2018 as your catalyst for change. Switch to ethical brands or fully traceable supply chains. Take a stand against deforestation. And a stand for the future safety of orangutans and other vulnerable species.

Take a stand for consumers everywhere

Orangutan Alliance is all about the promotion of consumer rights, ethical trading, clear product labeling.. To find out more about our work and palm oil free certification, read our blogs or visit our website www.orangutanalliance.org. Choose with your BUY. Join us.

FOOD AND DRINKS TRENDS 2018 - full disclosure on food tops the list

Do you are a friend who has an online shop or food business? Are you interested on what's new food trends are forecasted for the next year?  Then you should read this post. Mintel, a global market intelligence agency has recently published their consumer food and drinks futures trend for 2018.

They have found similar consumer sentiments to our own research here at Orangutan Alliance HQ, regarding the rise of consumer demand around ethical and environmental labelling for products.

Full disclosure on food continues to be high on the agenda as is individuality and sustainability. We have listed below some general themes from their report.

1. Full Disclosure

Full disclosure on food labels is a growing trend that is here to stay.

Internationally, consumers are looking for transparency in the supply chain not just for health and safety reasons but also for ethical and environmental reasons. Many consumers around the world lack trust in regulatory systems and manufacturers because of product recalls, scandals and suspicion.

Ethical and environmental claims on packaging such as environmentally friendly, palm oil free, animal and human welfare claims has seen a rise of 22% between 2016 and 2017.  Consumer skepticism has seen the need for food and drink manufacturers to be forthcoming about their ingredients, production processes and supply chains.

According to Mintel, Food and drink transparency serve a single purpose – to help consumers feel more confident about the safety and purity of the food and drink they purchase.

While this report was primarily done for food, we are seeing a similar trend in the beauty sector.

2.  Self Care

Consumers are looking for ways to escape stress and overwhelm in their lives, and are trying to focus back on self-care and balance.   They are developing their own definitions of what a healthy diet and lifestyle means and what permissible indulgence is. Manufacturers are responding with products that try and achieve health and indulgence.  Products following this trend include chamomile infused drinks that mix relaxation and indulgence and super juices that provide a healthy boost.

Generally consumers try to eat healthily using more natural and nutritional ingredients of fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices, but balance good food, with a healthy indulgence of occasional treats that provide relaxation and self care properties.

3. New Sensations

Encounters that appeal to multiple senses can provide consumers with relief from routine and stress. This includes feast with your eyes experiences that generate like worthy social media posts.  Texture and colour continue to be a big trend in 2018 as food and drink companies use the allure of ingredients like turmeric, matcha , activated charcoal, chunky yoghurt, tapioca pearls to create vibrant drinks and “share” worthy experiences.

4. Preferential Treatment

In the bid to save time and money consumers are sampling a variety of channels and technologies when shopping for food and drink. They are looking for prompt, affordable delivery, ease of automatic replenishment and simplicity of synchronisation with devices.

Busy consumers are attracted to e-commerce sites, apps and a variety of online and mobile options.  Technology is helping with effortless shopping, convenience and personalised recommendations.  Retailer apps will grow and continue to assist with curated content to personalise selections based on on previous purchases or search preferences.

5. Scientific Solutions to Food Supply

Some forward looking companies are developing solutions to replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients such as laboratory grown meat, plant based burgers and animal free dairy. These new solutions aim to potentially alleviate some of the pressure that our global food supply is under.

While currently this trend is growing in more environmentally focussed consumers, researchers believe it will also appeal to consumers who are concerned about ingredient purity.



Food Labelling and Palm Oil: What's the issue?


In Australia it is almost impossible to know if palm oil is being used in consumer food products. More and more consumers are wanting to place ethically produced goods into their supermarket trolleys but the labelling of food products is often difficult to understand and doesn’t really incorporate environmental issues.


Under current regulations palm oil or its derivatives can be labelled on food packaging ingredient lists using generic terms like 'vegetable oil' or ‘vegetable emulsifier’. Because the words “Palm Oil” are rarely used when describing food ingredients, most consumers have no idea Palm Oil is actually in the food they are consuming (we’ve actually identified more than 200 alternative names for palm oil or ingredients sourced from or containing Palm Oil, but there are probably more).


Why should we identify Palm Oil on Food Labels?

Palm Oil has a number of unique qualities which make it a desirable ingredient in things like cakes, cookies, ice cream, packaged bread, breakfast cereal, peanut butter, pizza dough, chocolate and margarine. However Palm Oil also contains a high proportion of saturated fat. The Dietary Guidelines issued by both the Australian and New Zealand governments recommend we limit our intake of saturated fats. The Australian Heart Foundation includes Palm Oil on it’s list of unhealthy fats. But how can we reduce our consumption of saturated fats if we don’t know what exactly is in the food we buy? This is one of the key reasons why mandatory labelling of Palm Oil is so important.


Apart from the obvious health reasons, mandatory labelling of Palm Oil also puts pressure on growers of Palm Oil  and food producers to adopt sustainable practices right along the food chain. It also lets food manufacturers know that customers expect the products they buy to only contain ingredients produced ethically and without harming the environment.


What Has Being Done About Transparent Food Labelling?

As far back as 2006 an application was made to Food Standards Australia requesting clearer identification of Palm Oil on food labels. An application was made due to concerns over the destruction of rainforests from the development of palm plantations and the resulting decimation of important species like the Orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. The application was ultimately rejected because environmental issues are outside the jurisdiction of Food Standards Australia.


Food labelling legislation only address issues like adequacy of supply, quality of ingredients or the safety of food.


“To attempt to use a domestic food standard aimed at regulating the quality and safety of domestic food supply to achieve international reform is a purpose that goes beyond the intent and scope of FSANZ Act.”


Though it’s beyond the scope of Food Safety Legislation to address environmental issues (even if they involve food products), government regulations do require the declaration of certain ingredients. To help consumers make healthier food choices, the total amount of saturated fat in a food must be displayed on the nutritional panel. It can certainly be argued that food labelling regulations currently in place do not enable consumers to make educated choices about the type of fats contained in the food they are purchasing. Especially when the Heart Foundation (as we said earlier) lists  Palm Oil among the bad fats.


Why is Palm Oil Still Not Clearly Displayed on Product Labels?

FSANZ initiated an independent Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy around 2011 and the results submitted to government. Only last November (2016) government made their final decision which (sadly), was a bit circular. Basically the report ended with a recommendation for more research before any decision is made to change food labelling. The report did note a significant proportion of surveyed Australians who supported mandatory disclosure of Palm Oil usage on product labels. Click here to read the FSANZ's report to government ministers and their response. The issue will be considered again at the next Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation meeting which is due towards the end of this year (2017). A very, very slow process.


Is Anything Happening Now to Ensure Palm Oil is Disclosed on Product Labels?

"Being allowed to disguise palm oil as vegetable oil means that Australians aren’t able to make an informed choice for themselves and for their family about what they buy at the supermarket - both from a health and an environment perspective."  

Senator Nick Xenophon

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has introduced the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Palm Oil) Bill 2017 to Parliament. The Bill calls for clearer labelling of food products containing Palm Oil for both consumer health and environmental reasons. The Bill is currently in it’s second reading and Parliamentary debate. The adoption of new laws and amendments can be very slow, and this Bill still needs to be considered in detail as well as undergo a third reading. There are no set timelines for these procedures but you can follow the progress of the Bill by clicking here.

"There have been some significant changes to food labelling laws made in this Parliament and I welcome those changes. However, more can be done and the discontent felt by the community at the lack of action taken on this issue is growing.

"Consumers have a right to know and this Bill gives them that right.”

This Bill is currently the best option for Palm Oil labelling on products, remembering that FSANZ only deal with issues relating to Food and Consumer Safety. So things are happening slowly but Senator Xenophon’s submission to parliament needs more support from the major parties and that’s where you can help too.


What Can I Do To Help?

To assist in ensuring that food labelling clearly indicates if Palm Oil has been used in a product, you can do the following things right now.


1.      Use products certified with the Orangutan Alliance NO PALM OIL seal.

2.      Get familiar with the list of alternative names for Palm Oil.

3.      Contact your local member of parliament and a senator or two in your state. Let them know how important transparent food labelling is for the health of you and your family as well as the environment.

4.      Stay informed by joining the Orangutan Alliance mailing list, liking our Facebook Page or following us on Instagram.

5.      Spread the word about our Certification Program and the ethical products that have been certified with the NO PALM OIL SEAL.


The Power of Consumer Choice

We believe that consumers (yes that means you and all the other mums, dads, kids, friends, partners, husbands, wives, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents) are the key to enacting positive change in our world. By choosing to only buy products produced sustainably and containing only ethical ingredients we ensure the future of (not just the orangutans) but our planet generally and ultimately ourselves.