Two life-size orang-utans will go shopping in Tesco today (Saturday 29th October 2005) to highlight how the UK supermarket is threatening the survival of their species. The action will be just one of 90 protests against Tesco around the country to raise awareness of the plight of the orang-utan.
The apes are at risk because rainforests in South East Asia are being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, with palm oil now found in one in ten supermarket products in the UK.
Friends of the Earth wrote to Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket, at the beginning of 2005 and asked them to trace their palm oil and adopt minimum production standards. But Tesco refused. Their failure to act means that Tesco shoppers are unwittingly contributing to rainforest destruction and the extinction of Asia's only great ape.
The orang-utans be supported by Friends of the Earth campaigners around the country talking to shoppers about the threat posed to the orang-utan by Tesco . Research published by Friends of the Earth last month found that the species could face extinction within just 12 years unless urgent action is taken to prevent their habitat being destroyed .