In the future when you bite into a Pop-Tart or an Eggo Waffle, know that the palm oil in those items didn’t add to the destruction of the rain forest. Kellogg Co. has promised to only buy palm oil from companies that are friendly to the environment.
This pledge is a response to pressure from environmental groups that have been pushing big names in the food industry to stop using palm oil from plantations that destroy rainforests in Southeast Asian countries, especially in Indonesia, reports the Associated Press.
As we’ve all been learning since grade school, there are many endangered species living in the rain forests — in these, there’s the orangutan and Sumatran tiger — and cultivating palm oil is a big threat to those animals. More than 30,000 square miles of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests have been destroyed in the pursuit of palm oil, say leaders of a campaign against such a practice.
Kellogg has promised to require its suppliers to trace their palm oil back to those plantations that have been verified independently as complying with the law and meeting standards for protecting the environment and human rights. Processors and growers will also be held accountable under the policy, says Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer.
“We must ensure they are all producing palm oil in a way that’s environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable,” she said.
Palm oil shows up in small amounts in products like Pop-Tarts, cookies and waffles, but most cereals don’t have it, she added.
Environmental groups are all about this policy change, which requires compliance or substantial progress by Dec. 31, 2015. Thus far it’s one of the toughest policies out there, joining other food companies like the Girl Scouts and Burger King.
“Kellogg is sending a strong message to palm oil producers that traceable, deforestation-free and exploitation-free palm oil are core conditions for global market access,” said the campaign director for a group called Catapult.
Kellogg to use environmentally friendly palm oil [Associated Press]