US confectionery brand Hershey’s has pledged to only source traceable and sustainably sourced palm oil by the end of the year.
The move will be one year ahead of the company’s original 2015 commitment. It means the firm will work closely with suppliers and industry experts.
Suppliers will be required to verify that sources do not contribute to deforestation or the destruction of wildlife habitat, do not clear high-carbon stock forests, do not contribute to peat land expansion, and operate in compliance with local regulations.
Hershey’s said this will help identify palm oil producers engaging in unsustainable practices. It will then work with suppliers to remediate the action and, if necessary, remove the producers from its supply chain.
Frank Day, vice president of global commodities at Hershey’s, said: “Our move to source 100 per cent traceable palm oil is the latest step forward in our efforts to ensure we are sourcing only sustainably grown palm oil that does not contribute to the destruction of wildlife habitat or negatively impact the environment.”
In November consumer goods manufacturer Unilever also made a pledge to move to sustainable sourced palm oil by the end of 2014.