Popular snacks fuelling deforestation for palm oil

| 14th November 2018
Orangutans: under severe threat from growth of palm oil

Orangutans: under severe threat from growth of palm oil

Greenpeace
Campaigners call for the company behind popular brands such as Oreo and Cadbury to drop suppliers of dirty palm oil.

Palm oil can be made without destroying forests, yet our investigation discovered that Mondelēz suppliers are still trashing forests and wrecking orangutan habitat

Palm oil suppliers to the company behind popular brands Cadbury, Oreo and Ritz have destroyed 70,000 hectares of rainforest including 25,000 hectares of orangutan habitat in Indonesia in just two years, according to campaigners.

New mapping analysis by Greenpeace International has revealed that between 2015 and 2017, suppliers to Mondelēz cleared over 70,000 hectares of rainforest, an area bigger than the city of Chicago, where the company is based.

The company pledged in 2010 to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, along with other members of the Consumer Goods Forum, which represents manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods such as food and toiletries. It also adopted a “no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation” policy in 2014.

Traceability

Mondelēz gets much of its palm oil from Wilmar International, which in turn sources more than 80 percent of the ingredient from third party suppliers. It also has a no deforestation policy, yet still fails to monitor its suppliers to check if they are complying or not, according to the analysis by Greenpeace.

Kiki Taufik, head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia's Indonesia forests campaign, said: “Palm oil can be made without destroying forests, yet our investigation discovered that Mondelēz suppliers are still trashing forests and wrecking orangutan habitat, pushing these beautiful and intelligent creatures to the brink of extinction. They’re literally dying for a biscuit.”

The report comes as an advert by supermarket Iceland to raise awareness of the environmental destruction caused by palm oil went viral on social media after being banned by regulators.

A spokesman for Mondelēz said that it had been working with its supply chain to improve traceability. “We’re asking our direct suppliers to call on their upstream suppliers to map and monitor the plantations where oil is grown so we can drive further traceability. We’re also excluding 12 companies from our supply chain as a result of breaches,” he said.

This Author

Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for the Ecologist. She was formerly the deputy editor of the Environmentalist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76.

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