Hershey has announced a target of purchasing "100% traceable and sustainably-sourced" palm oil by the end of next year.

The US confectionery giant said the move was "the latest step forward" in its palm oil strategy. Earlier this year, Hershey said it had achieved a goal of using only mass-balanced palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil by 2015.

Hershey said it would "work closely with its suppliers and industry experts" to ensure palm oil comes from sustainable sources.

Suppliers will be required to independently verify that sources: do not contribute to deforestation or the destruction of wildlife habitat; do not clear high carbon stock forests; do not contribute to peat land expansion; and operate in compliance with local laws and regulations.

"Our move to source 100 percent traceable palm oil is the latest step forward in our efforts to ensure we are sourcing only sustainably grown palm oil that does not contribute to the destruction of wildlife habitat or negatively impact the environment," Frank Day, vice president of global commodities at Hershey, said.