6/18/2013: Another day, another finding of palm oil in common everyday products around the home (and office, as in this case). Concerned, I fired off yet another anti-palm oil email, this time to Sunshine Biscuit Co., which is owned by mega food processor Kellogg’s. Here’s their canned corporate response:
Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts about palm oil in Sunshine® Cheez-It® Crackers. Your input is important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concern.As a socially responsible company, Kellogg looks forward to the day when a sufficient and feasible supply of sustainably grown palm oil is available. We are a member of RSPO, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an organization that continues to work toward the development of a consistent and sufficient supply of segregated, sustainably grown palm oil. We intend to purchase sustainable palm oil once a segregated palm oil supply is available that is financially and logistically feasible.
Kellogg is also:
–Helping growers fund the transition to sustainable palm oil by purchasing Green Palm certificates to cover 100% of our global palm oil use in 2011.
–Only purchasing palm oil from suppliers that are members of the RSPO.–Encouraging its blended palm oil suppliers to continue to increase the percentage of sustainable palm oil in the supplies they purchase, as the available supply increases.
–Requiring our vendor partners to commit to reducing their impact on the environment through our Supplier Code of Conduct.
–Supporting the Consumer Goods Forum pledge to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. Please know that we will continue to monitor this issue and work toward the best combination of ingredients that are environmentally responsible and provide the taste and nutrition that you expect from Kellogg Company.We are always eager to receive your feedback and want you to know your comments have been shared with the right people here at Sunshine.
Well, this seems merely aspirational in nature — not to mention dated, given that they boast about stuff they did in 2011, seemingly the year this was written. And they only “aspire” to move to sustainable palm oil when it’s financially correct — and feasible — to them. But not before. And we all know how bullshit any RSPO membership (or certification means): it’s not worth the paper (from deforestation, most probably) it’s written on.
That’s not good enough for me. Although I’m heartened by their stated aspiration to move to sustainable palm oil — when it’s cheap — this reads like the usual BS response, and does nothing to make that cheap segregated, certified sustainable palm oil possible NOW.
They’re dead to me. (Like so many orangutans killed as pests by palm oil goons).
I fired off a response:
When was this BS response drafted?!
Look at the below, it boasts of something done in 2011. Not now!
“Helping growers fund the transition to sustainable palm oil by purchasing Green Palm certificates to cover 100% of our global palm oil use in 2011.”
I would hope the time has arrived that it was “financially and logistically feasible” (your words; excused, really) NOW to move to segregated palm oil by 2013. As such, this is littler more than “greenwashing,” a tacit attempt to appease consumers who DEMAND environmental responsiblity from their products.
What is Kellogg’s doing NOW to:
1. To avoid the deforestation caused by palm oil;
2. To avoid the destruction of habitat for critically endangered species, like the orangutan?
3. To avoid the death of orangutans, tigers, etc., who live in the rainforest;
4. To avoid displacing the humans who depend on the rainforest for their sustenance;
5. To avoid the exacerbation of severe and continued global warming through deforestation?
Seriously, what’s happening in 2013?!
Update – 2/14/2014: Amid much pressure, Kellogg’s agrees to stop buying deforestation palm oil.
Kellogg Co. (K) has agreed to buy palm oil only from suppliers who can prove they don’t damage rain forests, the strongest move yet by a public food manufacturer to stop the practice, according an environmental group that pressured the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies.
Another article from Rhett Butler’s Mongabay: http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0214-kellog-palm-oil-policy.html
- Avoid Products That Contain Unsustainable Palm Oil (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)
- Why The Roundtable On Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is Full of Shit (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)