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Market goes to the zoo for orangutans

JESS LEE
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2013
Isadora Dunca
SAVING ORANGUTANS: Isadora Dunca, 5, at Grey Lynn Farmer’s Market supporting Auckland Zoo’s Orangutan Caring Week.

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Shoppers can be confident their purchases aren't contributing to habitat destruction as the Grey Lynn Farmers Market goes 100 per cent palm oil-free.

The market will be held at Auckland Zoo this Sunday in support of Orangutan Caring Week and to mark the change.

Palm oil is found in some chocolate, soap products and margarine and is blamed for threatening the survival of the orangutan as it has led to deforestation on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken says deforested land is already available for oil palm plantations but many companies continue to illegally destroy rainforest and peat swamp to make extra profits.

"If the current trends of rainforest destruction continue we could see orangutans extinct in the wild by 2022, and in the case of Sumatran orangutans, even earlier," Mr Wilcken says.

"The only way to save these species and habitat and slow the uncontrolled expansion of the palm oil industry is to reduce palm oil consumption and demand."

Grey Lynn Farmers Market manager Sarah James says most of its producers were already producing foods from scratch and not using palm oil. "It was just a matter of working with stall holders to ensure their products did not contain any hidden sources of it."

Como Street Cafe head chef Kevin Blakeman will be demonstrating how to use palm oil-free market ingredients to create guilt-free dishes.

The market will be held at the zoo's arrival plaza from 9am till 1pm. Entry is free. Auckland Zoo is running activities this weekend to celebrate Orangutan Caring Week and raise awareness.

Go to aucklandzoo.co.nz to see a Palm Oil-Free Shopping Guide.

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