Saw palm oil in an unsuspected Hershey product – Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews, of all places, in my local store. Wrote to them. Here’s their response:
Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding Palm Oil. We appreciate your interest in our business. Hershey is actively focused on building sustainable supply chains that benefit producers and growers while meeting our expectations for responsible production. We seek suppliers throughout our business that share our objectives and want to work with us to achieve them.
We understand the concerns related to palm oil, which is why Hershey became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2011 and purchases palm oil from suppliers that are members of RSPO. RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from several sectors of the palm oil industry – oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, and environmental NGOs to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The Hershey Company has made a commitment to procure 100% sustainable palm oil by 2015 depending on availability.
You can learn more about sustainable palm oil at http://www.rspo.org and Hershey’s commitment to sustainability by visiting the Corporate Social Responsibility section of our website: http://www.thehersheycompany.com/social-responsibility/environment.aspx
Thank you again for your interest in our company
UPDATED 12/17/2013: Hershey’s going even one step further, apparently. In an announcement today it said the following:
Company will achieve 100% mass balanced RSPO certified palm oil starting January 1, 2014, one year ahead of schedule
In addition to achieving its commitment to source 100 percent mass balanced RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified palm oil more than a year ahead of its original 2015 commitment, The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) announced today it will also work with its suppliers to achieve 100 percent traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of 2015.