International confectioner Mondelez has sacked 12 palm oil suppliers from its supply chain.
The owner of brands including Oreo, Toblerone and Belvita, which is aiming for full sustainability and transparency, found breaches in the supply chain, the company said.
To identify high risk areas and speed the elimination of deforestation, the US-headquartered firm requires suppliers to provide universal, group-wide concession maps, and to comply with time-bound plans to end deforestation. Failure led to the firms being excluded.
A spokesperson told SM: “We have actionable steps in place to make certain that the palm oil we buy is produced on legally held land, does not lead to deforestation or loss of peat land, respects human rights, and does not use forced or child labour.”
Since 2010, Mondelez has been aiming to achieve 100% sustainability and transparency. After sacking a supplier that year following allegations of illegal forest clearance, it introduced a traceability survey, and by 2013 57% of palm oil was traceable through suppliers.
In its Palm Oil Action Plan, published in 2014, it called for suppliers to achieve 100% traceability to the mill by the end of 2015, and to publish appropriate sustainable sourcing policies.
At the end of 2017, 96% of its palm oil was traceable back to mill and 99% was from suppliers with policies aligned to the company, the spokesperson said.
The company has continued to progress traceability and sustainability in its suppliers, and supports efforts to reform, but acknowledged a gap remains between its current state and the 100% goal.
Jonathan Horrell, global director of sustainability, said the firm will continue to drive change across palm oil growing communities.
“The company understands that this complex challenge can only be solved through collaboration with all actors in the palm oil supply chain, from growers to suppliers and buyers, as well as local and national government and non-governmental organisations.”
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