Food manufacturer Kraft Heinz Company plans to create a more sustainable supply chain by establishing responsible farm-to-market ingredient sourcing practices.
The company said it plans to only purchase palm oil and derivatives which are 100% certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
The move, part of a wider programme of corporate sustainability initiatives reported to be costing £200m by Bloomberg News, comes shortly after the company withdrew a $143bn bid for Unilever, saying it did not want to become embroiled in politics.
“Kraft Heinz recognizes that poorly managed palm oil cultivation can have adverse environmental and social impacts such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, forced and child labour and human trafficking,” said the company.
It also said it would work with global suppliers to achieve palm oil traceability, prohibit the use of child labour and forced labour in its supply chain and protect forests and habitats.
It also said it would hold suppliers to a zero tolerance policy concerning “wilful acts of animal abuse and neglect”.
As part of the policy Kraft Heinz will introduce several new supplier guidelines covering humane sourcing.
This will include commitments to use eggs only from hens living in cage free or enriched environments and to improve conditions for pregnant sows in its supply chain by 2025.
Greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy water and waste on its operations will be reduced by 15% worldwide by 2020, compared to 2015.
The company said it was trying to maximise energy efficiency and water consumption as well as reducing waste at each of its 86 company-owned manufacturing plants.
It also plans to expand its corporate social responsibility by donating 1bn meals to people in need.
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.