Tali, 9, launches business to reduce palm oil use and save orangutans

Tali Gourley has launched her own business to reduce the use of palm oil.

Tali Gourley has launched her own business to reduce the use of palm oil. - Credit: Jo Gourley

A nine year old schoolgirl has started her own fundraising venture to prevent the use of palm oil and save the world's orangutans from extinction.

Tali Froome, who lives in Flamstead and attends the village school, wants to reduce the environmental impact of palm oil by encouraging people not to use products which include it.

This can be difficult as ingredients often list palm oil under a different name - including PKO, fatty acids and Glyceryl, plus more than 400 other variations - so she has come up with an innovative solution she calls Free From Palm.

Tali explained: "What I will do is check your shopping list to see if any items contain palm oil and if I find any I will give you different options for that item. In addition, you can tell me if you have an allergy or things you prefer not to eat so I can make sure the substitutes are appropriate."

She aims to charge £5 for the service, with 20 per cent going to the Orangutan Appeal Charity, and so far has secured 14 customers, donating £40 to the cause.

"This charity means a lot to me as I have adopted an orangutan called Beryl from the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and the money will go help orangutans like Beryl to be released back into the wild.

Endangered female orangutan sitting on a branch in the lush forest of Borneo

An endangered female orangutan sitting on a branch in the lush forest of Borneo. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

"For Christmas, my parents adopted another orangutan, Nami, for me and my goal is for her to be released back into the wild and for orangutans not to be extinct."

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Tali, who has two older brothers, Fin, 13, and Jack, 11, explained: "I was inspired when my mum went to Borneo on a  cycle trip with friends. One of her stop-offs was the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and she told me about the poor animals out there suffering from the effects of deforestation. The WWF estimates we are losing 27 football fields of forest every minute."

Palm oil is added in food and cleaning materials, and Europe has gradually increased its use in biodiesel over the last few years. The increase in demand has resulted in deforestation of the rainforest, which is the orangutan's habitat, for the benefit of  production.

Tali decided to take the huge step of cutting out all palm oil from her family home: "One of my best friends, Freya, and her family removed palm oil from their house, so I created a method to find and remove palm oil products from my home.

Tali has designed a logo for Free from Palm.

Tali has designed a logo for Free from Palm. - Credit: Tali Gourley

"All you need to do is send me your shopping list, a receipt or a delivery note and where you shop, and I will send it back with all the items that contained palm oil and some options on how to substitute those items. If you have any questions, then please email. I look forward to getting your shopping lists!"

Her mum Jo Gourley added: "When Tali asked if we could become a palm free household, I knew what a huge undertaking that would be.

"We told her that if she researched our shopping list to identify those that contained palm oil and find substitutes then we'd replace them.

"I thought that would be the last I heard about it but, five  hours later, Tali had gone through our entire online shopping history and gave me the new products we should buy.

"It was a close friend who suggested that she should offer it as a service as she too had not known where to begin reducing her palm oil usage. We are so proud of Tali's determination and hard work."

If you want to use Tali's services, email her at freefrompalm@outlook.com