Rainforest Action Network Statement in Response to Kellogg’s Refusal to Address its Use of Conflict Palm Oil

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Friday, October 4, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO—In the face of growing criticism over its use of the controversial food additive palm oil, this week Michigan-based food giant Kellogg’s told its customers and concerned environmental groups that responsibility was held by its supplier the agribusiness giant Wilmar International Ltd.

By its own estimate, the Kellogg Company purchases one out of every thousand tons of palm oil produced worldwide.

Rainforest Action Network has begun urging Kellogg’s, along with 19 other top snack food companies, to address its use of Conflict Palm Oil and its documented role in destroying endangered rainforests, pushing wild orangutans to extinction and adversely impacting climate change and forest dependent communities.

The following is a response from Rainforest Action Network’s senior campaigner, Gemma Tillack, to Kellogg’s refusal to address its role in stemming Conflict Palm Oil:

“If Kellogg is serious about its stated commitments to achieving responsible palm oil supply chains, it cannot shirk its responsibility by deflecting attention to its supplier, known bad actor, Wilmar. In fact, in 2012, Wilmar was named the world's least environmentally friendly company by US news magazine Newsweek.Due to its poor environmental performance, Wilmar was also excludedin 2013 from The Government Pension Fund of Norway, the largest stock owner in Europe.Is this who Kellogg’s wants to trust its brand reputation or the fate of the world’s last remaining orangutans to?

“Kellogg, the brand that brought you much loved products like PopTarts, Special K and Eggo waffles, has a responsibility to ensure the trust of its customers is not misplaced by making certain its snack products do not contain orangutan extinction. Kellogg’s cannot and should not outsource this responsibility to its supplier Wilmar. It is Kellogg’s choice who it does business with and what practices it allows into its palm oil supply chain. We are urging Kellogg’s to choose to care enough to do the right thing.”

“Rainforest Action Network is ready and waiting to meet with Kellogg’s to work together to develop a new global palm oil procurement policy that goes beyond sourcing so called ‘sustainable’ RSPO certified palm oil. Kellogg’s cannot leave that work up to Wilmar or the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), especially given that the RSPO does not adequately address the risks of purchasing palm oil that is associated with deforestation, excessive carbon emissions and human rights violations.”  

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org