8 January 2010 | Jake Kanter
Chocolate company Thorntons has committed to purchasing all of its palm oil from certified sources by 2012.
The British firm said in a statement it was concerned about the impact some palm oil growers are having on the environment.
None of its chocolate contains palm oil, but it uses the commodity in a number of its confectionery fillings because it has “unique flavour and texture properties”.
Thorntons is the latest high-profile company to commit to purchasing sustainable palm oil. Last year, Nestlé and Marks & Spencer pledged to buy the commodity from only certified sources by 2015.
Unilever has also committed to the same target, but was forced to suspend all purchases of palm oil from a supplier in Indonesia last month after Greenpeace published a damning report.
The campaign group alleged that the vendor PT SMART, a subsidiary of Indonesian group Sinar Mas, had been “persistently engaging in widespread illegal deforestation”.
Friends of the Earth argues that deforestation caused by palm oil production is the biggest threat to the orang-utan.