While palm oil is a small percentage of their ingredients, concerns about the sustainable production of palm oil is high on the Kellog Company’s priority list, says Diane Holdorf
The Kellogg Company’s journey to responsibly sourced palm oil began five years ago. Today, the company continues to demonstrate the importance of this issue with its recent announcement of a new global commitment. Through this new commitment, Kellogg will require its suppliers to protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and peatland of any depth.
Suppliers will also be required to protect human and community rights. The company firmly believes that key to this commitment is the power of dialogue, engaging stakeholders and benchmarking to promote changes within the industry.
Although a very small user of palm oil, Kellogg began directly engaging with global palm oil suppliers and stakeholders in 2009, when it began buying GreenPalm certificates to help fund palm growers transitioning to sustainable practices. Each year since, Kellogg has made significant progress in its commitment to source palm oil in ways that are environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable.
Since 2011, all of the palm oil the world’s leading cereal producer has used globally has been sourced through a combination of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified segregated supply, RSPO mass balance mixed-source supply, and the purchase of GreenPalm certificates. In 2012, Kellogg began using a combination of RSPO certified segregated and mass balance palm oil in Europe. And this year, the company was able to shift its US palm oil use to mass balance supply.
Kellogg’s journey has continued in 2014. In February, the company announced a new global commitment to fully traceable sourcing of palm oil. The new commitment requires suppliers to trace palm oil to plantations that are independently verified as legally compliant and adherent to the company’s principles for protecting forests, peat lands, and communities. Suppliers must also be compliant with all RSPO principles and criteria. with regards to timelines, suppliers must comply with Kellogg’s requirements by the end of 2015 or be working to close any gaps in their action plans.
There are multiple ways Kellogg is engaging to provide leadership and support.
At an industry level, the Consumer Goods Forum pledged in late 2010 to mobilise its collective resources to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. As a member of the forum, Kellogg supports this commitment. Kellogg is also continuing to engage with a number of the NGOs who are helping to create change in the palm oil industry. They support industry-wide changes and leadership while sending consistent messages to shared suppliers.
Kellogg’s February announcement on transparency is a step in the right direction and one that affirms the company’s commitment to traceable, transparent sourcing. But the company also recognises there is much more to do.
Kellogg believes this engagement, constructive dialogue and collaboration with stakeholders will drive innovative solutions that will lead to transformation in the industry and a more sustainable supply of palm oil.
Diane Holdorf is chief sustainability officer at the Kellogg Company.
This was first published on www.betterpalmoildebate.org
May 2014, London, UK
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