US confectionery brand Hershey’s has updated its palm oil sourcing policy to detail what it expects from its suppliers.
Hershey’s is working to achieve a sustained, traceable, responsible palm oil supply chain, and expects to achieve traceability to the mill level by the first quarter of 2015. In December last year, Hershey’s committed to sourcing completely sustainable palm oil by the end of 2014.
The company will use the information to assess which suppliers present the highest risk for engaging in deforestation and will require that they commit to implementing responsible expansion procedures to the plantation level in 2016.
Global non-profit organisation The Forest Trust (TFT) is to help Hershey’s trace its palm oil supply chain and “safeguard supplier adherence” to its new sourcing policy.
“In addition to provisions that protect against deforestation, preserve native species’ habitats and protect the environment, the new sourcing policy also provides details on labour and human rights protections and the inclusion of smallholder palm farmers in the supply chain,” the snack manufacturer said.
“Taking the decision to actively move beyond the accepted norm in palm oil is a very commendable one,” added TFT director Robin Barr. “It’s also essential for transformation in the industry. Hershey's has put a great deal of considered thought into its policy, and the commitment to involve smallholders is vital for shaping an industry where responsibility and reward can be experienced by all.”
Frank Day, vice president of global commodities at The Hershey Company, added: “Our new sourcing policy gives our stakeholders the road-map for how we will go beyond RSPO-certified [Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil] palm oil and achieve a truly responsible and sustainable palm oil supply chain at The Hershey Company. Our new palm oil sourcing approach positions us as a leader among global food companies in sustainable palm oil.”