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29 July 2011

Sumatran Orang-utan Menyaru has celebrated his eighth birthday with a generous gift that will bring benefits to both the orang-utans at the Zoo and their relatives far away in Borneo and Sumatra.

Leading Australian company Orange Power wished Menyaru a happy birthday with a contribution of up to $150,000 over the next three years. This partnership will help Zoos Victoria fund conservation campaigns such as ‘Don't Palm us Off'.

That campaign is calling for mandatory labeling of palm oil used as an ingredient in manufactured consumer products.

Orange Power produces environmentally responsible palm oil-free household cleaning products, with Planet Ark endorsement and the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) tick of approval.

Managing Director of Orange Power, Iain Chaney, says the partnership with Melbourne Zoo is a great fit because both organisations share a passion for the environment and wildlife.

‘With a million-plus visitors each year, Melbourne Zoo is in a unique position to inform the community about the impact palm oil production is having on wildlife.

‘Orange Power is committed to eradicating the use of palm oil in the home and giving consumers a green choice, so we fully support the work the Zoo does.

‘In fact, we have created special bottle tags on our products to promote this partnership and highlight to consumers how they can help wildlife by choosing these palm oil-free products,' Mr. Chaney says.

Zoos Victoria Conservation Director Rachel Lowry warmly welcomes the Orange Power partnership, because linking with such a popular household brand will help increase consumer awareness of the issue.

She explains that the rapid logging of rainforest to establish oil palm plantations is depriving wildlife of their homes, so the United Nations predicts that orang-utans could become extinct within the next two decades unless urgent action is taken to protect their remaining habitat.

‘We are confident that as community awareness of this issue increases, consumers will be keen to make wildlife-friendly choices in the supermarket. Mandatory labeling of palm oil will make it easier for us all to make informed choices,' Ms. Lowry says.

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