With Lorinda Jane of Palm Oil Investigations

With Lorinda Jane of Palm Oil Investigations

We've just published a new Cooee! podcast on our Earthworm website and I’m pleased to say it’s an interview I did a week or so ago with Lorinda Jane, Founder and CEO of Australian NGO Palm Oil Investigations. I think Lorinda is terrific. I’ve been wanting to interview her for a long time and we kept talking about it but somehow life got in the way and we never managed it. Well, we finally did and the podcast on our Earthworm website shares the discussion.

I think Lorinda is terrific because of not only what she’s achieved with Palm Oil Investigations but because of the way she’s gone about it, the way she started. I’m big on Values and Lorinda jumped into the crowded and sometimes unpleasant NGO Orangutan conservation space with both feet and a commitment to make a difference. I believe she has.

She started having seen an image of a terribly burnt and quietly dying Orangutan. She saw a post about the animal on Facebook and followed the discussion, learning its death was linked to Palm Oil plantation development. At the time, like many folk, she knew nothing about Palm Oil, knew nothing about how prevalent it is in so many products we buy, that she herself was buying, and knew nothing of the conflict between humans and Nature unfolding to the north in Indonesia.

Three years later and that’s all changed. Having left her job – and that’s no mean feat given she’s a single mum, hat’s off to you Lorinda for taking that risk – to start POI, the organisation has launched an app that allows shoppers to determine the nature of the Palm Oil in prospective purchases at the point of sale. POI’s Facebook page has 185,000 and growing followers and she and her POI Team – all volunteers, the lot of them – share information with Australian consumers about Palm Oil and products. Lorinda engages in discussions with companies across Australia about their use of Palm Oil and has helped many to change to more responsible approaches. POI is quietly expanding its work to the US and the UK. And…POI raise money that gets sent up to local NGOs in Indonesia to support Orangutan rescues and sanctuaries.

Lorinda and her colleagues are doing what they set out to do.

I think its hugely impressive and it fits into my mindset that “everyone can do something”. Lorinda, a mum sitting at home one evening, saw something that disturbed her so she got up, learned about it and did something about it.

As we say in Australia: “Good on you Lorinda Jane”.

I hope you enjoy the podcast.

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