UPDATE: 06/13/2018 – Justin’s Does Better!

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UPDATE:  06/13/2018:  While researching Quinn Popcorn, I stumbled on the fact that they support Justin’s snacks, which I wrote to a couple of years ago (see below).  Well, they’ve changed a bit.  Here’s news from them:

Sustainably Sourced Palm Fruit Oil

Our organic peanut butter cups are made with 100% organic palm fruit oil that is sustainably sourced from South America and certified under the RSPO‘s IP (Identity Preserved) supply chain model.

Our nut butter jars, squeeze packs and snack packs also contain palm oil that is certified sustainable under the mass balance supply chain model by the RSPO.

And here’s what that means:

IDENTITY PRESERVED

Sustainable palm oil from a single identifiable certified source is kept separately from ordinary palm oil throughout supply chain.

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Make sense?

Although we’re always skeptical of the RSPO, Identity Preserved sounds far better than Justin’s old fallback, Mass Balance RSPO supplying of palm oil.

So plaudits to Justin’s!

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06/23/2016:  Another palm oil “horror” story from my employer’s kitchen.   The company means well:  to give employees some snacks to refresh them through their workdays.  However, the company doesn’t exactly do their due diligence on the sourcing of those snacks — or the internal ingredients.

Case in point (again):  Justin’s peanut butter products.  It’s supposed to be this whole organic-y, touchy-feely, nothing-but-peanuts-and-butter slice-of-heaven.  But the second ingredient on the label is freakin’ palm oil.  So I circled it on the label with a big black marker and left it on the kitchen counter for quizzical co-workers to wonder, “Hmmm, why was ‘palm oil’ circled here?”

Then I dashed off another death and destruction email to Justin’s Facebook page, loudly and boldly for all to see (and reposted, and reposted, and again).  If you’re a regular reader of this infrequent blog, you know it involves accusing corporations of being complicit in the death, destruction, displacement, etc., that palm oil cultivation wroughts (is that a correct usage of that word?)

Here’s their well-intentioned but misinformed response. It’s the same canned rationale they tee-up proudly on their website.  (http://justins.com/values)

Sustainable Sourced Palm Fruit Oil.

 

Our organic peanut butter cups are made with 100% organic palm oil that is sustainably sourced from South America and RSPO certified.

Our nut butter jars, squeeze packs and snack packs contain palm oil that was certified sustainable under the mass balance supply chain model by the RSPO.  Recently, this supplier’s certification expired. We proactively removed the sustainable callout from our label in recent months when we learned the certification was set to expire. We are diligently looking for a sustainably sourced, RSPO certified alternative and will continue to keep our website up-to-date with the latest ingredient information.

 

They clearly are well-intentioned.  All the greenie bells and whistles are on their website, from “Sustainability Initiatives” to “Giving Back” to “Compassion.”  But they put all of their eggs in the RSPO basket for easy cover.  And, as we know, the RSPO is no knight in shining armor.

(See https://gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/rspo-completely-or-just-mostly-worthless/)

Note too, that Justin’s says because their supplier’s “certification expired,” they specifically stopped labeling their products containing it as “sustainable.”  Makes sense, right?  Plaudits to them for having a sense of truth-in-advertising.  But if they’re no longer able to label it as “sustainable,” which from RSPO history it probably NEVER WAS in the first place (since it simply doesn’t yet likely exist (like a mystical unicorn)), and was explicitly drawn from “mass balance” programs (read: offsets), it sure-as-hell isn’t sustainable now.

So, Justin’s, we need to boycott you.  Sadly, deforestation is most probably occurring due to your direct actions.  Do better.  Be a leader.  Don’t buy “mass balance” palm oil.  Because that just means so-called “sustainable” palm oil is mixed with “traditional” palm oil.  Traditional probably meaning that rainforests were razed for agricultural purposes.

And to show just what’s at stake, look at this recent video I saw that shows sentient, soulful orangutans thinking and reasoning – and showing compassion. These precious creatures (along with rhinos, elephants, tigers — and indigenous humans) are being driven to displacement and extinction.  All for palm oil.  Cheap, dirty palm oil.

 

 

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5 Responses to UPDATE: 06/13/2018 – Justin’s Does Better!

  1. This inspired me to leave a shit load of comments and posts on their Facebook page. I’ll be sure to tell others not to support this brand.

  2. Tonya says:

    Hi! Regarding your recent update (6/2018), I just saw on Justin’s website that they ALSO use Palm Oil from Mass Balance Supply Chain Model…. not really great…
    (“Sustainably Sourced Palm Fruit Oil
    Our organic peanut butter cups are made with 100% organic palm fruit oil that is sustainably sourced from South America and certified under the RSPO‘s IP (Identity Preserved) supply chain model.
    Our nut butter jars, squeeze packs and snack packs also contain palm oil that is certified sustainable under the mass balance supply chain model by the RSPO.”)

    According to “Palm Oil Investigations” (http://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/palm-oil-supply-chains.html):
    “MASS BALANCE
    ​Mass Balance (MB) is a mix of oil using uncertified with certified Palm Oil and not traceable to the source. Brands using Mass Balance can claim that the palm oil used in their products supports the production of certified palm oil.
    Easiest way to describe Mass Balance is eg: 100 ton of palm from a certified producer is fed into the mill, 100 ton of palm from an uncertified producer is also fed in at the same time, 100 ton of Mass balance is collected at the other end. So what the certified producer feeds in, they collect that same tonnage after processing but it is mixed with uncertified palm.
    Imagine filling half a glass of water from one tap and topping it up from another tap. There is no way to know which tap the water in the glass has come from, as it is mixed and you cannot separate the liquid.”

    This doesn’t sound very promising….

    While, it appears, that Justin’s uses South American produced Palm Oil and Orangutans are not being effected, other companies can claim to be part of the roundtable (RSPO) and still use unethically sourced palm oil.

    Time to stop using products made from Palm, of any kind!

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