Kar’s Nuts – Contains Palm Oil But Is It Sustainable?

IMG_1544 I needed some candy at work the other day, but reached for a Kar’s Nuts “Sweet n Salty Mix” bag instead of candy. While chomping away somewhat guilt-free, I read the ingredients. Uh oh. Palm oil.  Now I feel really guilty. I quickly wrote them, espousing the evils of palm oil as a scourge on earth. Here’s their response:

The Palm Kernel Oil in Sweet N Salty Mix is Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Certified. The RSPO is a “not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.” They work to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on both the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions of the world. For more information, please refer to http://www.rspo.org.

Our Certified Palm Kernel Oil must originate from a plantation managed and certified per the principles and criteria of the RSPO. For us to claim its usage of RSPO Certified sustainable palm oil, our entire supply chain (producers, refiners, processors, traders, distributors and manufacturers) are required to be RSPO members and RSPO Certified. (There must be a full compliance from the plantation all the way through to the final product in which the palm/palm kernel oil is used, in this case the chocolate gem candy.) Additionally, RSPO members undergo a rigorous initial certification and annual re-certification process which includes onsite audits as well.

Kar’s Nuts takes great care to ensure that our products contain ingredients that are both delicious and sustainable. We have a very detailed ingredient and supplier approval process and many other controls at various steps in our process to ensure that products produced at our facility are of good quality as well as sustainably and ethically sourced.

Quality Assurance Manager
Kar’s Nuts

Well, this certainly sounds amazing!  It contains all the right buzzwords, i.e., “from plantation all the way to the final product.”  Great for Kar’s Nuts!  Sounds like they’re aware of the huge, soul-sucking palm oil problem.

But then I despaired. Why? Because RSPO.  So I wrote them back this morning, telling them that oftentimes RSPO certification isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (for instance, if it’s pursuant to the Green Palm certificates or Mass Balance scheme).  I’ll post their response when I get it.

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6 Responses to Kar’s Nuts – Contains Palm Oil But Is It Sustainable?

  1. Gary Dura says:

    Thank you for your efforts to protect the Ones with no voice and our Mother Earth.

  2. Ally says:

    It’s what they didn’t say. They never told you the name of their supplier. Also, on Greenpalms own website they claim that they can not guarantee that their Certified Sustainable Palm oil is actually Certified Sustainable Palm oil. A little covering of the buttocks I’d say. The fact is that the RSPO supports 4 supply chains with Greenpalm being the worse.
    Then it’s Mass Balance
    Then Segregated
    Then Identity Preserve.
    Identity Preserve is the only supply chain where the Palm oil can be traced back to the actual
    Palm oil plantation where It was grown.

    No Palm oil is sustainable. Indonesia is quickly disappearing because of Palm oil. Then Malaysia will follow, then parts of Africa, and parts of South America.

    The companies that use Palm oil need to stop and that’s where we vote to boycott all Palm oil… through our wallets.

  3. Ally says:

    Greenpalms claim that their CSPO is not guaranteed to be CSPO. it’s under Book & Claim (Greenpalm) 2nd paragraph.


      • Ally says:

        The RSPO was created’ in 2004, BY the palm oil industry FOR the palm oil industry. Like the Fox guarding the henhouse I’d say.
        Coincidentally, that is the same time people started to realize what horrors were happening, because of the Palm oil Industry, and started boycotting it. Then all the sudden the RSPO was created and then people were talking about “Sustainable” Palm oil and “conflict” Palm oil. It’s all a ruse.

        If companies really cared they would stop using Palm oil. Think about it. If a company is telling you that their Palm Oil is healthy (it is not) and that they don’t hurt Orangutans
        (if it’s not Orangutans it’s another Critically Endangered Species) and in
        Earth Balance’s case they tell you that they contribute to Orangutan Foundation International. This means instead of stopping the use of Palm oil they are acting as if the consumers is helping them help the Orangutans. This in turn makes the consumer feel as though they are doing a good thing by buying their product. The truth is just the opposite. It’s the very use of Palm oil which caused the Orangutans
        to need to be rescued in the first place.

        Note: Orangutan Foundation Internationals stance on Palm oil is to boycott it.

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