On April 28 Australian and New Zealand Ministers could decide if we have the right to know if palm oil is in the food we buy.
Currently palm oil is a largely hidden ingredient in Australia and New Zealand so you can’t know if it is in your food or how it is produced.
In the week before the meeting they will be subject to intense lobbying from the grocery industry. Let's make sure they get more phone calls from community members than paid lobbyists.
The best times to call are between Mon to Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm AEST.
Here is an example of how a conversation could start (or you can just wing it!):
Hello, I’m [Your Name], I would like to talk to [Your Minister's Name], please.
(Their staff will likely say that s/he is not available. They'll ask how they can help you.)
I have heard that the Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation could enact mandatory labelling of all oils at its meeting on April 28. I wanted to tell the Minister that I support this decision, as I need to be able to make informed choices about my health and what's in the food I buy.
Consumers have a right to know exactly what's in our food.
Can you please pass this message on to the Minister?
Thank you for your time.
- Be friendly and polite - the person picking up the phone will find it hard to ignore you if you are polite.
- Don’t feel like you have to answer any specific questions if you don’t feel comfortable.
What if they ask who asked me to call?
Tell the person that you’re a member of a global organisation called SumOfUs (with hundreds of thousands of members across Australia + New Zealand), which runs campaigns to keep corporations accountable. Tell them you’re calling as someone who is concerned about the mandatory oil labelling decision.
What if they ask me if the minister is my MP?
Tell the person where you are from. Even if you’re not specifically in their electorate, they're still the Minister representing your state.
Do I have to be an expert to call and express my concerns?
No! But if you do want more guidance, check out the Don't Palm Us Of website here
-- it’s great! There's lots of useful research and background information.
What if the person asks me a question you can’t answer?
It’s ok to say you don’t know. Or you might want to say that you will research the answer and contact them back with more information.
What if I’m not connected?
The line may be busy - sorry about that. Please do try calling again during office hours.