Cane Sugar – Free Snacks – Why You Should Ditch the Cane – Sugar

Everyone loves a sweet treat every now and again. We believe it’s important to nourish your taste buds while caring for your health and impact on the environment. To help you make informed dietary decisions, we have provided some insight on why all our snacks are cane-sugar free.

 

How much is too much?

According to 2020 statistics, the EU is the second leading region in cane sugar consumption with a staggering 18.6 tonnes being consumed in a single year. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) by Public Health England found that sugar comprises a much higher percentage of the average citizen’s daily calorie intake than recommended (14.15% for teenagers and 11% for adults respectively) with the official recommendation being no more than 5% across all ages. The gravity of the sugar consumption problem in the UK is only highlighted by the law passed in 2018 that imposes a levy or “sin tax” on soft drinks containing more than the recommended amount of sugar.

 

Environmental Effects

 

Sugar cane presents many challenges with regards to environmental sustainability. In fact, A 2004 report by WWF suggests that sugar cane may be responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop. Production of this crop in many countries has resulted in the destruction of natural rainforests, mangrove plantations and other vulnerable environments due to the size of land required.

Additionally, the run-off of nutrients, pesticides and chemicals in the soil, eutrophication of waterways from fertilizer and discharge of organic pollutants further impacts not only the animal species that make up the unique biodiversity of these areas, but also often affects native humans. The burning of sugar cane prior to harvest is also a widespread practice that causes large amounts of air pollution.

Further to this, sugar cane is an exceptionally water intensive crop and according to an interview with global policy research institute Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) senior researcher Francis Johnson, “The additional water being used for irrigation in sugar farming regions […] may exacerbate water stress. Even without irrigation, sugar cane can remove water resources from other crops, owing to soil and groundwater evapotranspiration needed to support sugar plant growth”.

Until more sustainable methods of farming this crop are developed and widely implemented, sugar cane will remain a disaster for the environments in which it is farmed.

 

Health Effects of Sugar Cane

 

Increases risk of heart disease

 

High-sugar diets have long been found to increase the levels of triglycerides (fats that circulate in your blood when not being stored in your body) and decrease the amount of HDL (good fats) which work to protect against and reduce LDL (bad fats) within the body. Both of these actions increase your risk for atherosclerosis. Further evidence shows that excessive sugar consumption leads to inflammation within the body, elevates blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels, and along with the increased risk for atherosclerosis, this greatly increases an individual’s risk for heart disease. A 2014 study found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar.

 

Causes weight-gain and obesity

 

With a teaspoon of cane-sugar containing 16 calories and many sweet treats and beverages containing a great deal more sugar than just a teaspoon, it’s easy to see how excessive consumption may lead to weight-gain and obesity. As sugar cane also stimulates the release of feel-good hormone dopamine, the more you consume, the more you want to consume, which only compounds the problem. A 2013 study even found that excessive sugar-cane consumption could lead to your body developing resistance to a hormone called leptin which regulates hunger and tells you when you are full.

 

Contributes to gout, joint pain and other inflammatory conditions  

High cane sugar diets have been linked to increased inflammation in the body leading to the emergence and exacerbation of inflammatory conditions such as joint pain and gout. As added cane sugar also increases the levels of uric acid in the body, this would particularly aggravate gout.

 

We support our community in reducing cane sugar consumption, so we have provided a full range of delicious cane sugar-free snacks that hit the spot with a variety of rich flavours.

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cheesecake Frosting

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients

Frosting

1 1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk

2 Tbsp lemon juice

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake 1 box of Carrot Cake Veggie Bars

2 cups finely shredded carrots

2 cups packed pitted medjool dates (measured after pits removed)

2 1/2 cups raw walnuts

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1 pinch nutmeg

1/2 cup coconut flour (or sub almond flour)

1/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  • If making the frosting (optional), soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Then rinse and drain. Add to a high-speed blender along with coconut cream, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla and blend on high until very creamy and smooth scraping side as needed. Cover and refrigerate to chill.
  • Using a box grater or the grater attachment on your food processor, grate the carrots and set aside.
  • To a large (at least 7-cup) food processor, add the pitted dates and blend until small bits remain or a ball forms. Remove from food processor and set aside. (Smaller food processors can be used – the ingredients just need to be blended in batches as to not overflow the bowl.
  • To the food processor, add the walnuts, vanilla, salt, and spices. Blend until a semi-fine meal is achieved. Then add dates back in, along with shredded carrots, and pulse in 1-second measurements until a loose dough forms and the carrots are just incorporated. Be careful not to over-blend. You’re looking for a pliable dough, not a purée.
  • Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut flour and raisins and stir to combine. By mixing gently as opposed to blending in a food processor, you can keep a lighter, less dense, more “cake-like” texture. Once well combined, set aside.
  • Prepare a 18-22 cm springform pan (or large cake pan or baking dish with high edges) by adding parchment paper along the bottom and sides.
  • Line the bottom of the cakepan with Carrot Cake Veggie Bars, yoghurt side up and form a solid even layer.
  • On top of the layer of Carrot Cake Bars, add the cake mixture, spread and press down evenly to pack. Use a flat-bottomed object, such as a drinking glass, to help press everything into an even layer. If the mixture sticks to the glass, wrap it in parchment paper.
  • Pour the frosting on and tap out any air bubbles. Then place on a baking sheet (to keep level) and freeze for 3-4 hours or until the frosting is semi-firm to the touch.
  • To serve, make sure the cake isn’t fully frozen so it’s soft enough to cut (letting it thaw on the counter for 30 minutes should help). Then use a hot knife to carefully cut out slices and enjoy.
  • Garnish with crumbled Carrot Cake Veggie Bars.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month. It’s best enjoy slightly chilled (not frozen). You can let it sit out at room temperature up to 2 hours, but the frosting can begin to get soft.
  • This great recipe has been adapted from the recipe’s original author from The Minimalist Baker.

Gluten-free Vegan Nut Butter Choc-Chip Cookie

Total Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup Smooth Cashew Butter Spread

3/4 cup soft brown/coconut sugar/xylitol

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons water

A handful of vegan chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 190°C. Lightly grease or line a couple large baking trays. Set aside.
  • Mix the peanut butter and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir in the baking powder and flax egg until fully combined. The dough will be thick and a little sticky.
  • Add the vegan chocolate chips and stir mix in well.
  • Scoop out the dough – about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Flatten the balls with a fork making a cross hatch on the top of each cookie. Flattening the cookies will help them bake more evenly.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 9-11 minutes. The tops will be starting to golden. Let the cookies cool on the trays completely before transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool.
  • This great recipe has been adapted from the recipe’s original author, Sarah Nevins, from A Saucy Kitchen

Vegan Rooibos Cappuccino

Ingredients:

¼ cup Nudi Tea Rooibos Espresso

¾ cup almond milk

Xylitol or other natural sweetener, to taste

Ground cinnamon, to taste

  • Fill your coffee plunger or tea strainer with 2-3 teaspoons of Nudi Tea Rooibos Espresso
  • Percolate until tea is almost black in colour
  • If you have a frother, froth almond milk to create a foam. If you do not have a frother, heat almond milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Whisk briskly with a wire whisk to create foam.
  • Pour tea into a mug and follow with the frothed almond milk
  • Add sweetener to taste
  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of the froth
  • For a stronger taste make a double shot of tea

Gluten-free Vegan Blueberry Crisp Tart with Oat Crust

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 10 slices

Ingredients

For the filling:

300 grams/ 2 cups fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons tapioca starch

For the crust:
1 box of Pecan Nut and Blueberry Snack Bars

1 cup (96 grams) almond flour

3/4 cup (67 grams) old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons coconut oil solid

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 23cm tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.
  • Add blueberries, maple syrup, and tapioca starch to a medium bowl and toss until coated. Set the blueberries aside while you make the crust.
  • Add the almond flour, oats, maple syrup, baking powder, and salt to a different bowl and whisk until combined. Add the coconut oil and use your fingers to work it in until coarse crumbs form and the mixture holds together when pressed.
  • Remove a heaping 1/2 cup of the crumbs for the topping and pour the remaining crumbs into the prepared tart pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan.
  • Evenly layer the Pecan Nut and Blueberry Snack Bars on top of the dough close together, forming as solid a base as possible. Leave some bars for the topping.
  • Pour the blueberries over the crust, making sure the juices stay behind in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Crumble the snack bars
  • Add the chopped pecans and crumbled snack bars to the remaining crumble and sprinkle evenly over the top of the berries.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is lightly brown. At around 20 minutes, tent the tart with foil to prevent it from getting too brown. Let cool completely before slicing into wedges and serving.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

This great recipe has been adapted from the recipe’s original author, Rachel Conners, from Bakerita

AF - Blog Post June

Protecting the Oceans and Recycling

There is no denying the beauty and majesty of the ocean. It has stirred many hearts, inspired poetry and great tales, and serves as a springboard for countless people’s imaginations. More practically, our oceans serve many vital functions for our planet.  They are responsible for providing over 50% of the worlds oxygen and play an important role in regulating the world’s climate, weather patterns and water cycles. They are also important sources of food, with 15% of food globally being sourced from the ocean. Additionally, the ocean is believed to be a veritable cornucopia of potential medical ingredients with over 20 000 new biochemical substances being found in the last 30 years alone It is the home of 80% of life on earth with over 300 000 different species. Sadly, it is also one of the most highly impacted eco-systems when it comes to pollution. An important brand value for us at Ambassador Foods is “Clean Oceans”, which is supported by our use of recyclable packaging. As part of our endeavour to educate and inspire, we will outline how pollution impacts the oceans, how recycling helps as well as a list of other ways to keep our beautiful oceans clean and healthy.   

 

Ocean pollution – how bad is it? 

According to a 2014 research paperthere are more than 5 trillion plastic pieces weighing over 250,000 tons floating within the sea. Sadly this number seems to be steadily growing with between 10 and 20 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year. Many believe that most of this waste would originate from sources close to or on the ocean, such as boats or coastal towns, but a staggering 80% of pollution comes from land-based sources, including deep inland areas through storm drains and sewers. This plastic waste from bottles, grocery bags and other disposable packaging can accumulate in high concentrations in certain areas due to ocean currents. These high-plastic areas are called “gyres” and there are 5 of them currently floating in our oceans. The biggest of these is in the North Pacific, known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” and measures over 700 000 square kilometres (roughly the size of France).  

This plastic debris kills more than a million seabirds yearly and over 100 000 marine mammals (and these are only the ones that have been found). Larger plastic items eventually erode into tiny fragments known as micro-fragments which can be found throughout the oceans and beach sand. In a shocking emphasis of this, a 2018 study found that 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs.  

The effects of this growing plastic invasion ultimately come full circle to affect the human population as 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption contain plastic. Scientists found microplastics in 114 aquatic species, more than half of which are consumed by humans. Although the health impact on humans consuming this plastic is still inconclusive, some of the chemicals within these plastics are known as disruptors to the endocrine system, others are known to cause birth defects, whilst still others may cause cancer. The particular plastics and chemicals involved as well as the volume and frequency of consumption will affect possible outcomes, although the true results of plastics effect on our health may not become clear for many years according to researcher Debra Lee Magadini 

 

How does recycling help our oceans? 

The first and most obvious benefit is that it stops waste from ending up in our oceans through littering and landfills by entering the production cycle once again to create other items. If greater amounts of recycled plastic are available for manufacturers to use, this will also drive down prices and encourage manufactures to source their materials from recycling plants instead of buying new materials.  Additionally, by reducing the rate of waste incineration, it reduces unhealthy air pollution which is causing increasingly negative impacts for our oceans due to acidification.  

Recycling reduces the amount of plastic that needs to be produced which reduces toxic air and water pollution that goes into the creation of new plastics and often ends up in the oceans. Furthermore, it saves natural resources which assists in reducing harmful mining practices (these noxious chemicals also often find their way into our oceans).  

 

How else can I protect the ocean? 

  

  • Reduce your use of single use plastics where possible by firmly eschewing them in favour of using re-usable items that you carry with you to the relevant areas (re-usable straws, material shopping bags, water bottles etc) 

 

  • Where you cannot avoid single-use plastics, try to re-use them (if feasible and safe) and where this is not possible, recycle them.  

 

  • Recycle correctly. Remember that each type of waste and each recycling centre may require different processes to be followed. Sometimes plastic cannot be recycled if it has food material on it and will need to be rinsed. Many recycling centres do not have the manpower to rinse all the soiled items they receive so these items end up in a landfill or are incinerated. 

 

 

  • Avoid products that contain micro-beads. These small plastic beads are found in some toothpastes, face scrubs and body exfoliators and have already proven fatal to many marine creatures. If you are unsure, check the ingredients before you buy them 

 

  • Support organizations that support the reduce, re-use and recycle ethos and care about their environments. This will put pressure on others to do the same.    

 

We hope that together with our Ambassadors, we can continue to make positive changes for our oceans, our environment and every living being within them. 

Are Your Purchases Ethical? Fair Trade and Humanity In Brands

Fair Trade and ethical products embody everything that we stand for and support within our business. In honour of Fair Trade Day, we will explain what the term “Fair Trade” actually means and why it is important to support through your purchasing choices.

What does “Fair Trade” mean?

As stated by the original association, Fair Trade International, “Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.”

Fair Trade International works together with its member organizations particular to their specific countries to ensure that all activities and standards around the world are co-ordinated. The organisation focusses on several key areas to promote equality, support the vulnerable and protect the environment. The Fair Trade Foundation is the official association for the UK and together with other associations around the world, perform the following functions:

  • Set social, economic and environmental standards for businesses to follow
  • Certify products and ingredients that follow their standards and provide a designated label to show consumers which products and businesses are compliant
  • Partner and assist with companies’ corporate responsibility activities that are in line with Fair Trade values
  • Lobby the government to demand fair treatment in trade deals and changes or additions to laws to protect the vulnerable and the environment, as well as to abolish inequality or discrimination.
  • Drive awareness of global issues of unfair trade and the importance of enforcing the Fair Trade standards

What Global Problems Does Fair Trade Address?

Child Labour

According to 2015 statistics by The International Labour Organisation, there are 265 million children used as labourers globally. According to data from the statistics aggregator The World Counts, an estimated 120 million of these children are engaged in hazardous work and 73 million are below 10 years old. Fair Trade organisations deny their mark to any company that makes use of child labour in any capacity and actively work with national child protection agencies to assist in protecting and removing impacted children from companies that are found to be in breach of these standards.

Climate Change and Environmental Destruction

With 36 billion tons of CO2 being emitted globally each year, it is unsurprising that our global average temperatures have increased by a full degree since the pre-industrial era. Industry and Agriculture are the two biggest culprits, combining to contribute a whopping 45% of the total CO2 emitted globally. They are also the biggest culprits of deforestation with a staggering estimated 18 million acres of forest being lost each year (according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)). Fair Trade associations assist in combatting this by providing standards and associated incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon foot print and environmental impact.

Forced Labour

Many believe that slavery is a thing of the past. Sadly, this is far from the case, with around 40 million people living in slavery around the world today according to data from the statistics aggregator The World Counts. They are forced to work, often under threat of violence or starvation, many working for subsistence alone. Aside from Fair Trade’s standards that support businesses that promote fair treatment of workers, the organizations often engage with areas known for high volumes of forced labour and have several programmes in place to protect, rescue and assist those in forced labour conditions. In partnership with other NGOs, Fair Trade assists in creating and implementing preventative measures for producers and high risk companies, training farmers and workers on human rights topics and connecting companies with producers that follow the Fair Trade standards and values.

Human and Workers Rights

Whilst first world countries such as the UK may have complex and frequently enforced labour laws and workers unions to lobby for fairer laws and uphold workers’ rights, it is important to remember that even with products manufactured within the UK, the materials or ingredients may be produced in other countries where effective labour laws don’t exist or are not properly enforced. In statistics from a 2017 study, it was found that 84 countries exclude groups of workers from labour law, over 75% of countries deny workers collective bargaining and their right to strike and the number of countries where workers were exposed to physical violence and threats increased by 10%. To combat this, Fair Trade’s standards for certification always meet or exceed requirements in internationally accepted conventions, their certifiers independently verify that all Fair Trade companies or producers are following their standards and they fund targeted programmes to address human rights issues.

Gender Inequality

As with human rights within the workplace, the UK is making great strides to reduce the gender pay gap and inequality in the workplace, but many companies and producers around the world have vastly differing payment gaps, low representation of women within senior roles and overrepresentation within low-paying positions. There is still a 31.4% average gender gap within the global work force. To challenge and improve this, Fair Trade has designed their standards to increase female participation, prevent gender inequality and empower more women to access Fair Trade benefits.

You have a chance to make a difference and take a stand with every product that you purchase, so remember to choose wisely and support Fair Trade and brands with values. Our values are reflected in every stage of our production and we will continue to strive to be Ambassadors for positive change.

ambassador foods

Why Our Products are Dairy-Free

As part of our aim to have a product range that is healthy, cruelty-free and sustainable, our range of products are proudly dairy free It is also important that our Ambassadors know what this means and why it is important, so we have provided a guide on why this is one of our values.

 

What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar molecule found in milk. When it is ingested, the lactose in dairy products needs to be broken down into 2 smaller sugar molecules called glucose and galactose by an enzyme called “lactase” in order to be absorbed by the body. Lactase is located on the surface of the cells lining the small intestine.

 

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance occurs when there is an absence or reduced presence or activity of the enzyme lactase which results in the inability to properly digest dairy products. This condition commonly causes symptoms of diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating and gas.

 

Why go Dairy-Free?

 

Lactose Intolerant Population

Approximately 65% of the global human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose according to the US National Library of Medicine. Researchers have theorized that this is due to the fact that we are the only species that drink milk into adulthood and drink the milk of other animals. With such a large percentage of the population unable to digest dairy products, it was important for us to ensure that everyone could safely enjoy our products.

 

It is kinder to the animals

Despite many dairy farms’ claims that their cows are well cared for, studies spanning several years have repeatedly demonstrated that this is not the case and that cases of ill-treatment are more often the norm than the exception. Dairy cows have been bred to produce increasingly greater volumes of milk over the years than what they naturally would, as much as 11 times more according to an investigation by the Guardian. This is a great strain on the cow’s bodies and sometimes leads to emaciation, lameness, mastitis or infertility early in their lives. Naturally cows can live up to 25 years old but within dairy farms, they are slaughtered as soon as they are no longer able to produce milk, usually between 5-6 years of age but sometimes as young as 2-3 years old. Living conditions for cows differs greatly between farms, the worst of them causing a host of painful bacterial infections such as hoof lesions, sore ulcers, laminitis and digital dermatitis caused by poor quality floors, ineffective foot trimming, and prolonged standing on concrete floors. Even without all these factors, the continued mental and emotional distress caused by being repeatedly forcibly inseminated and separated from their new-born calves is often enough reason for many to go dairy-free.

 

It is better for the environment

Many nations are experiencing the effects of climate change with Australia’s devastating fires, Spain’s destructive Storm Gloria and the relentless floods in Brazil, it has never been more important to make a change. According to a 2006 paper by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, animal agriculture contributes an estimated 18% to total greenhouse gas emissions with farmed animals constituting nearly 80% of these emissions. A report by Greenpeace in 2018 stated that production and consumption of dairy (and meat) need to be cut in half globally by 2050 to avoid dangerous climate change. Added to this, the Amazon rainforest, the biggest rainforest in the world that plays several important roles to the environment is being greatly affected by the meat and dairy industries with animal agriculture being responsible for up to 91% of its destruction.

 

It is becoming clear that the average consumer in the UK is becoming more savvy and environmentally conscious with milk sales decreasing by 240 million pounds every 2 years and large brands investing in dairy-free alternatives as well as creating vegan-friendly offerings. The movement towards a kinder, more eco-friendly future is already well on its way and Ambassador Foods is proud to be part of it.

The Ambassador Movement – What does this mean to us?

Every action we take as a company is with our core values and the Ambassador Movement in mind.

 

Recycling/Recyclable materials

We believe that we have a responsibility to our planet to create and promote products that are recyclable to reduce pollution. Pollution, plastic being one of the worst culprits, releases harmful toxins into both the soil and the air, chokes and harms wildlife, and is even entering our bodies through our food supply chains. This is why our packaging is 100% recyclable and we firmly advocate for our Ambassadors to reduce, reuse and recycle. We know paper or biodegradable packaging is an option, but a fine balance exists between shelf life and food waste. We want to optimally deliver a quality product, with a good shelf life that won’t expire before the consumer is able to consume it. Food waste and its negative impact is as much a reality as unrecyclable plastic.

 

Humanity

Through our ethical sourcing of ingredients and packaging, as well as our fair treatment of all stakeholders in our business, we aim to promote kindness and goodness to humanity. We are extremely conscious of forced and child labour occurring around the world. It’s our aim to stand against this by boycotting all institutions that make use of these abhorrent practices and only using suppliers that treat all their staff fairly, with respect and empathy. 

 

Clean oceans

The health of our oceans affects every living organism on this planet, including ourselves. We believe that it is our responsibility to promote the health of our oceans by using recyclable packaging, ethically sourcing plant-based ingredients and educating our Ambassadors on how best to care for our oceans and make better choices for a better future.

 

Against palm oil

The palm oil crisis is only growing more dire with each passing year and yet it is not common knowledge. We intend to assist in combating this crisis, not only by ensuring that our products are palm oil free and educating our Ambassadors on this crisis, but also through working hand in hand with the Orangutan Outreach NGO. We have adopted 3 of their beautiful orangutans whose care and protection we support through a percentage of all proceeds made through the purchase of our products. 

 

Caring about nature

We want caring about nature and being conscious of the effects we each have on all living things to become an integral part of daily life. We promote this throughout every stage in our production from ingredient selection to your very last bite. In addition to this, we will continue to provide education on how to be mindful of how our choices can affect the environment and our ecological footprint.   

 

Animal welfare

The humane treatment of animals, not only in physical care, but in mental wellbeing, is extremely important to us. We ensure that our products are 100% vegan, while also ensuring all practices throughout the production process are animal friendly and ethical. It is an uncomfortable fact that animal cruelty is alive and well in many industries. Through education, we would like to make more people aware of this and help them to make choices with the well-being of all animals in mind.

 

Agri-development

Positive and sustainable development in agriculture is important for job creation and making responsible and forward-thinking farming practices the norm. We support this through our choice of sustainable suppliers who produce ingredients and packaging using eco-friendly and sustainable processes.

 

Carbon emissions

Climate change is showing no sign of abating or slowing down. It is of paramount importance that we all take responsibility through a greater effort to reduce our carbon footprint. We do this by shortening our supply chain and ensuring that all activities of production emit the least amount of carbon possible. We also provide education to our Ambassadors of how to make better choices to support the cause of reducing carbon emissions and climate change. We need to create a world that we are proud of and will sustain future generations. 

Through these values, we hope to be a force for kindness and a movement for positive change for the earth and all living things. Join us on by becoming an Ambassador for change.

Palm Oil and Our Partnership with the Orangutan Outreach

Combatting the palm oil crisis is a mission that is close to our hearts. For a problem on such a large scale, we needed a multi-faceted approach; ensuring that our products are 100% palm-oil free, educating our customers and partnering with Orangutan Outreach who provide care and protection for orangutans affected by the palm oil crisis.

 

Who is Orangutan Outreach?

Orangutan Outreach is a non-profit organisation that seeks to protect orangutans within their native habitat whilst providing care and rehabilitation for displaced orangutans until they can be returned to their natural environment. Forming a network of partnerships with rescue and conservation organisations including the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), The International Animal Rescue (IAR) and many more, these dedicated individuals collaborate to raise funds and promote public awareness of the orangutans’ plight. Individuals and companies can help the Orangutan Outreach through direct donations, purchasing Orangutan Outreach merchandise on their online shop, or by virtually adopting one of the orangutans who are currently being cared for by a partner conservation organisation. When virtually adopting an orangutan, the funds go directly toward providing for that orangutan’s care until they can be safely released back into the forest.

 

How is Ambassador Foods doing its part?

Our first action to combat this crisis was to create a range of palm oil free products that will afford consumers the opportunity to make a better choice to combat this problem.

Our second and most recent development has been to virtually adopt 3 beautiful orangutans, Cinta, Gatot and Topan from Orangutan Outreach. A percentage of all proceeds made through the purchase of our products goes to the upkeep and protection of the orangutans that we have virtually adopted so that our Ambassadors can also play a part in the care of these beautiful animals.

Our third action is to provide ongoing education on the palm oil crisis to raise awareness for this important topic, starting with this very article.

 

So what is palm oil?

Palm oil is derived from the pressing of fruit from the oil palm tree which thrives in tropical environments and originally hails from the African continent. Its use has risen dramatically over the last few decades with utilization within a large number of industries from food to cosmetics. Palm oil accounts for a third of all vegetable oil used worldwide according to a 2013 scientific study. Its production is showing no sign of slowing with worldwide production almost doubling over 10 years from 2000 to 2010 according to a publication by The Center for International Forestry Research.  It is currently the most inexpensive vegetable oil available on the market due to its high yield and low labour costs. This combined with palm oil’s versatility and lack of public education on its negative effects, maintains its upward trajectory in both production and use.

 

What is the palm oil crisis?

Palm oil plantations take up 40.6 million acres of land worldwide (according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists). This is the size of about 70% of the entire United Kingdom and is usually at the expense of indigenous forests, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia where palm oil plantations are rife. The destruction of forests is devastating not only to the environment and animals that dwell within these eco-systems, but also to the local people who rely on these forests for their way of life. Many of the animals at risk are only found within these specific regions and only 15% of these animals can survive within oil palm plantations according to a 2008 scientific study (Fitzherbert et al. 2008). To clear the land for these plantations, fire is often used, and many creatures, including orangutans, are not fast enough to escape the blaze. The associated pollution from these fires release hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, drastically impacting climate change. The pollution has also created an international health concern, with the smoke causing respiratory problems to people living even thousands of kilometres away. The low cost of labour that makes palm oil so inexpensive is often due to rampant child and slave labour, with children as young as 8 being utilized, according to an investigation by Amnesty. The same investigation found that workers were paid as little as $2.50 (£1.90) daily, worked unlawful hours and were performing dangerous tasks without any personal protective gear.

Between irreversible damage to the environment, animals and the children and people native to these areas, there is no doubt that the harm of palm oil farming far outweighs any benefit this product may offer.