UPDATE: 11/17/2017: This post is getting a bunch of light traffic lately. So I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page. Although Haribo claims it’s doing the right thing by using only RSPO “certified” palm oil, that really doesn’t mean shit. Here’s this from Greenpeace in Sept 2013 (this “sustainable palm oil” battleship turns slowly):
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 to promote the use of sustainable palm oil through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. It is a voluntary association, consisting of palm oil producers, processors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors as well as some environmental and social non-governmental organisations. RSPO members account for around 40% of global palm oil production. The RSPO wants its members to be industry leaders in sustainability. However, its current standards leave its members free to destroy forests.
Our report shows that RSPO certification is not protecting international household brands from the risk that the palm oil they use is tainted with deforestation. RSPO standards are not prohibiting deforestation and peatland destruction. Mapping analysis shows significant deforestation in concessions currently owned by RSPO members, and a significant share of the fires that covered Southeast Asia in haze this June were in RSPO member concessions.
The RSPO recently reviewed its Principles and Criteria, but failed to address crucial questions of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, leading to criticism both from consumer companies and NGOs. Companies seeking deforestation-free palm oil now need to go beyond RSPO if they want to break the link between palm oil and deforestation.
Also, read more at this site: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-palm-oil-no-not-really/
UPDATE 10/27/2016: Well, well, well. Look who finally responded:
Thank you for contacting us HARIBO [sic].
We as a company have very consciously decided on the use of palm oil.
In particular, health issues led to this decision, because the palm oils used contain no hydrogenated fats or oils.
Our products and the raw materials used have always satisfied the highest quality standards.
Based on current plans, we will support the RSPO by exclusively using sustainable palm oil that has been certified by the RSPO for the manufacture of our HARIBO products from the beginning of 2011 onwards. As a responsible confectionary manufacturer, we feel obliged to follow the sustainability principle.
For more information about RSPO membership of HARIBO visit http://www.rspo.org/members/639/Haribo-GmbH-Co-KG
I’ll save you the trouble of clicking on that link above. It says the following:
Organisation’s Commitments Toward Sustainability
- How will your organisation promote the RSPO internally and to other stakeholders?
<!– –> Based on current plans, we will support the RSPO by exclusively using sustainable palm oil that has been certified by the RSPO for the manufacture of our HARIBO and MAOAM products from the beginning of 2011 onwards. We will announce this on our HARIBO website, in relevant press releases and in our general corporate communications (PR). We will also provide our commercial partners with comprehensive information on the use of certified palm oil and the sustainability principle of the RSPO.
- Where relevant, what processes is the organisation establishing to engage with interested parties, for example to resolve conflict or to use sustainably produced palm oil?
<!– –> As far as is consistent with German and European competition law, we will allow our market partners (raw material suppliers, competitors and commercial partners) to benefit from our experience with regard to the use of certified palm oil and becoming a member of the RSPO and will help them with all enquiries and interests concerning certified palm oil. The production, management and sales staff of HARIBO will be given comprehensive information on the background and use of sustainable palm oil in our confectionary.
- Where relevant, how will your organisation work towards implementing the RSPO Principles and Criteria or assessing supplier performance against these criteria?
<!– –> Both membership of the RSPO and commitment to the RSPO â€œCode of Conductâ€ will shortly become a necessary prerequisite for supplying HARIBO GmbH & Co. KG with palm oil and/or products containing palm oil. This will be stipulated in our supplier agreements for 2011.
- Any other information that would support the application such as what your organisation hopes to gain from joining RSPO and how it would support RSPO?
<!– –> As a responsible confectionary manufacturer, we feel obliged to follow the sustainability principle. By becoming a member of the RSPO and exclusively using sustainably produced and certified palm oil, we hope to prove our commitment to sustainability. Membership of the RSPO gives us the opportunity to also communicate the exclusive use of certified palm oil to our commercial partners and to consumers of HARIBO and MAOAM products. As the global market leader for fruit gums, liquorice and foam-based sweets we expect to have a multiplier effect with which we can promote the RSPO in the entire food industry and particularly among confectionary manufacturers.
I’m getting sleepy just reading their bullshit greenwashing.
July 31, 2016: My girlfriend bought a huge bag of Haribo gummy bears recently. As I dug into them — they really are about the best slightly petrified gelatinous mush of non-essential calories one can buy, I turned the bag over. The second freakin’ ingredient is palm kernel oil. Who the F knew?! Even here?
At my wit’s end with the ubiquity of palm oil, I posted my usual email on Haribo’s Twitter and Facebook pages. I received NO response.
Then I looked, and the RSPO — that toothless, corrupt “fox watching the hen house” public relations organization that the palm oil industry uses to greenwash their industry — claims on its website that it’s a member. Who cares?! That means nothing today.
Then I did a little more digging and saw that something called the Woodland Zoo claims Haribo is part of a group of…
Obviously, this is a bunch of horseshit. “Certified sustainable palm oil” as a claim is as worthless as the paper it’s written on at this point in time.
So I sent an email to the Haribo info email address.
I’ll publish it when I get a response. If I get a response.
But for now, NO MORE Haribo products for me.