Tootsie Roll has me stymied. I thought they were one of the good guys on palm oil Hell, it wasn’t just a few years ago where they were being held out as a paragon of palm oil virtue. In 2013, they were marked by containing no palm oil.
And another group labeled Tootsie Rolls as being “Candy that does NOT contain palm oil: (ORANGUTAN-FRIENDLY!)”
So imagine how shocked I was when I looked at the ingredients on my post-Halloween leftover candy at work.
So I wrote them, asking “what gives?!” I mean just as the candy industry, especially Nestle, are moving away from old palm oil policies, Tootsie Roll silently seems to be swimming upstream and now…using palm oil?
Here’s their response:
XXXX, thank you for contacting us. Tootsie Roll Industries uses ingredients from only highly reputable vendors. This is especially true for our palm oil suppliers. The company has a supplier approval process that allows us to verify that our palm oil is obtained from vendors that employ environmentally sound sustainability practices. Our palm oil suppliers design their production process in ways that ensure protection of the environment.
Well, knowing that RSPO certification (if that’s what they’re referring to), is as good as nothing at this point, I wrote back:
I have NO comfort that your vendors use “environmentally sound sustainability practices,” because there really is NO such thing. Please give me more information on this, if you can. RSPO certification it literally worthless in the conservation world and is merely green-washing. Their “mass balance” scheme, for instance, means they’re just offsets with environment-destroying palm oil.So, please, educate me more on your palm oil sustainability?You guys didn’t even apparently use palm oil until somewhat recently, isn’t that correct? In fact, I see many websites that labeled your candy “orangutan” or “rainforest” friendly as recently as 2011 – 2014.What happened? Just as the whole world is being educated on just how bad palm oil is for the environment and people, and companies are moving away from it because of that destruction, Tootsie Roll decides to start using it?!
Crickets. Silence. Tumbleweeds.
So I wrote again. And again.
As of this date, Tootsie Roll has gone silent. And for once, silence is not golden.
I will be boycotting Tootsie Rolls from now on — or at least until they answer one of my three follow-up emails.