Hershey wants to be "thorough and complete" in tracing palm oil supply

Hershey wants to be "thorough and complete" in tracing palm oil supply

Hershey has pushed back its target to use only "traceable and sustainably-sourced" palm oil by the end of this year.

The Reese's maker outlined the goal last December but confirmed today (25 September) recent work with The Forest Trust, a non-government organisation, meant it was "more realistic" to expect to finish its work on tracing early next year.

"When we announced our 100% sustainable, traceable palm oil commitment in December, the goal was to complete the first phase of tracing our palm oil supply chain by the end of 2014. After engaging TFT and beginning the actual work on the ground to trace our supply chain, we have realised that it is more realistic to expect to complete the tracing work early in the new year rather than by the end of 2014. We want to take the necessary time to be thorough and complete in tracing our palm oil supply chain," a spokesperson told just-food.

Hershey has teamed up with The Forest Trust to help trace the company's supply chain and "safeguard supplier adherence" to the company's sourcing policy.

The US confectioner announced its work with The Forest Trust yesterday, alongside updates to its sourcing policy for palm oil.

The additions to the policy now contain labour and human rights protections and the inclusion of small-holder palm farmers in the supply chain.

The original pledges saw Hershey make a number of requirements of suppliers. They were asked not to contribute to deforestation, not destroy wildlife habitat and not clear high-carbon stock forests. Hershey also said suppliers must not contribute to peat land expansion and had to operate in compliance with local laws and regulations.

"This policy really touches on all of the key issues that have impacted the palm industry during the past several years," Frank Day, vice president of global commodities at Hershey, said. "Our new palm oil sourcing approach positions us as a leader among global food companies in sustainable palm oil."