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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Campaigners highlight ape plight
Forest destruction
Forests are being felled to establish palm oil plantations
A Cornish supermarket is being targeted by an environmental group to highlight concerns about palm oil products.

Friends of the Earth claims orang-utan habitats are being destroyed because of the demand for the oil and fear the apes could be extinct in 12 years.

Campaigners will be outside Tesco in Falmouth on Saturday, handing out leaflets showing one in 10 products apparently contain palm oil.

The supermarket chain said it is trying to find a solution to the issue.

It said it is difficult to know where their palm oil comes from but they are trying to find out more.

Workers get 13 for an orang-utan head, which is a lot of money
Nick Lyon, Cockroach Productions

Friends of the Earth has launched a national campaign to persuade supermarkets to use palm oil from more sustainable sources.

It claims up to 5,000 orang-utans are dying every year as new palm groves replace their habitat.

The campaign is being supported by Somerset-based company Cockroach Productions, which has spent two months filming the animals in Indonesian Borneo, Sumatra and Java.

Nick Lyon from the company said the campaign is about education and a consumer boycott is not being encouraged.

Knife attacks

He said: "The orang-utan is an animal of habit. It knows its territory and the palm oil land used to be its forest.

"It moves back in there then when it meets the palm oil plantation workers it's attacked - not with sophisticated weapons - but with knives and hooks.

"The workers get 13 for an orang-utan head, which is a lot of money for the workers."

The aim on Saturday is to raise consumer awareness about the effects the palm oil trade could have on orang-utans and other wildlife.


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