If you have ever purchased Oreo cookies, Sour Patch Kids, or Ritz crackers, then unfortunately, you have supported a company that has direct and indirect ties with deforestation. The good news is that very soon these products—and dozens more—will not be such guilty pleasures after all.
Mondelēz International, which is the one of the world’s largest snack food brands as well as one of the world’s largest buyers of palm oil, has announced that they will be cutting ties with palm oil suppliers that contribute to deforestation.
In a statement that was released last week, Mondelēz announced that it is no longer conducting business with 12 of its former palm oil suppliers – a decision that the company attributes to breaches of conduct by these companies in regard to deforestation and Mondelēz’s commitment to 100% sustainability.
Additionally, the company says that it is taking steps to speed up palm oil suppliers’ transition to sustainable and transparent sourcing practices.
This announcement came after a recently-published Greenpeace report documented deforestation and the destruction of orangutan habitats at the hands of such palm oil suppliers affiliated with Mondelēz.
“Palm oil is just one of several commodities whose industrial production is fueling a climate and extinction crisis,” says the report. “If Mondelēz is serious about ‘building the best snacking company in the world,’ then it needs to drop dirty palm oil and stop sourcing from destructive producer groups.”
When it comes to its palm oil consumption, Mondelēz has created goals for complete transparency and sustainability – but since the release of the Greenpeace report, they have admitted “there remains a gap between the current state and our goal.” Though they made no mention of the Greenpeace report, they cut the aforementioned business ties and insist that they are committing to better their practices in the future.
“Mondelēz International remains fully committed to driving change in the palm oil sector and today’s actions against 12 upstream suppliers reflect that commitment,” said Jonathan Horrell, Global Director of Sustainability at Mondelēz International. “We will continue to pursue existing and new initiatives that seek to drive effective change across palm oil-growing communities.”
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