Why do we need to #ProtectPongo?

Pongo is our orangutan ambassador from Borneo, Indonesia, whose home was destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.

Pongo’s story is not an uncommon one. With around 100,000 Bornean orangutans remaining in the wild, they are a critically endangered species in dire need of assistance. 

Between 1990 and 2015 alone, 24 million hectares of rainforest was destroyed in Indonesia to create plantations - that is an area the size of the UK.

Illegal deforestation is fuelled by an international demand for products such as timber, soy, and palm oil. 

Palm oil is a leading culprit, appearing in 50% of packaged products in UK supermarkets, things we use everyday like shampoo and chocolate, and in most nut butter brands.

Despite palm oil’s devastating contribution to the illegal destruction of rainforests and the harm this brings to orangutans, 38% of people in the UK aren't actively avoiding products that contain it. 

The power is in our hands to change this. By choosing products that don’t contain palm oil, everyone will help reduce demand and deforestation, protecting orangutans like Pongo in the process.

At Meridian we believe many products do not need palm oil. In fact, they taste better without it! We are proud to be the first, and only, UK brand to achieve Palm Oil free certification from POFCAP, but we know that’s not enough. 

Alongside our ongoing fundraising for International Animal Rescue, we are adopting five orangutans and planting 50,000 trees in Borneo this year. And, of course, telling Pongo’s story to raise awareness of the detrimental impact deforestation is having on the orangutan species. 

Pongo On Tour 

From the 23rd of September to the 7th of October Pongo will be creating colourful and poignant artworks across Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London to mark his search for a new home. 

Of course, Pongo is an orangutan so he’ll need some help creating his artwork. Louis Masai is an artist and environmentalist who created the beautiful patchwork orangutan above. He will be lending his hands and talent in our quest to #ProtectPongo.

Keep up with Pongo’s journey by following @MeridianFoods on Instagram. If you spot one of our orangutan murals, share a photo and let us know using the hashtag #ProtectPongo.

And you can donate to International Animal Rescue here, to help with the rehoming and rehabilitation of orangutans impacted by deforestation in Indonesia.

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