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November 11, 2016

Mondelez tightens sustainable palm oil requirements

Mondelez International has announced new "milestones and requirements" for its suppliers to work toward a sustainable supply of palm oil.

Mondelez International has announced new “milestones and requirements” for its suppliers to work toward a sustainable supply of palm oil.

The confectionery and bisucits giant said the move is another step towards its goal of making “sustainable palm oil the mainstream option, based on the principles that production should be on legally held land, not lead to deforestation or loss of peat land, respect human rights, including land rights and not use forced or child labour”.

Walter Nobles, vice president for global raw materials at Mondelez, said: “We’ll exclude suppliers who don’t immediately cease deforestation in their own concessions or exclude deforestation in their third-party supply. Our suppliers have done great work to align their policies and make their palm oil more traceable. But more is needed to drive real progress on the ground, so we’re asking them to improve practices across their entire operations and engage their third-party suppliers – who supply much of the oil they trade – to implement the same practices.”

Key new provisions in the updated plan require suppliers to map and assess the risk for all supplying mills on Global Forest Watch, provide assurance that no deforestation occurs on their own concessions, exclude third-party suppliers who do not immediately cease deforestation and “work with recognised third-party experts to protect labour rights”.

Mondelez, which said it was the first multinational consumer goods company to require suppliers to track oil sourced from third-party suppliers as well as their own farms, believes its new requirements are “a critical step in catalysing systemic change in sustainable palm oil”.

The company said its new plan “builds on progress” the company has made since June 2014. As of the end of last year, Mondelez said 90% of the palm oil it sources was traceable to the mill, and 91% “was purchased from suppliers with published policies that are aligned with Mondelez International’s principles”.

In 2013, the Oreo maker achieved Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) coverage for 100% of the palm oil it bought, two years ahead of its commitment. Last November, an extension to the RSPO standard was announced that allowed growers to demonstrate best practice in sustainable palm oil and help buyers deliver on their “no deforestation” commitments.

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