Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is airing appreciation of the updated commitment to sustainable palm oil of food and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc which may also encourage changes in the palm oil industry in general.
“We appreciate PepsiCo because it has adopted a comprehensive policy and frontline steps that if applied, will encourage changes in its palm oil supply chain and the wider industry,” said Robin Averbeck, RAN Agribusiness Campaign Director in a recent press release.
Earlier this month, PepsiCo announced that it has updated its commitment by adopting a comprehensive palm oil procurement policy and pledged to conduct a series of actions aimed at ascertaining that the palm oil in its supply chain did not cause deforestation, did not destroy peat or result in human rights violations or violations of labor rights.
PepsiCo ‘s policy changes peaked six years of campaign and the company hoped that it would also help show the palm oil industry that palm oil production can and must be done responsibly.
The policy will be applied for the entire PepsiCo supply chain, from direct suppliers to producers and cover both palm oil and palm kernel oil, across the globe. It also applies to all suppliers at group level, including throughout its operation up until third-party suppliers and also will not only over palm oil directly sold to PepsiCo.
RAN said that this policy will also pressure the company’s business partners – including food giants such as Indonesia’s Indofood, to go sustainable in its palm oil oil supply.
The new policy was developed together with RAN, the Organization for Strengthening and Developing Community Enterprises (OPPUK), and the International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF.)
“The reality of the global climate crisis is increasingly apparent and an archipelago like Indonesia is the first to experience its worst impacts, ” said Herwin Nasution, Director of OPPUK.
He said that when problematic palm oil contributes to deforestation and the climate, the labor in palm oil across Indonesia would also be impacted. Herwin said that his organization will continue to monitor the implementation of the new policy.
“We are currently facing a 2020 critical year. Promises on paper needs to be converted into concrete actions in the field, actions that would impact on workers and the environment,” Judy Gearhar, Director Executive of ILRF.
“PepsiCo and other multinational company already promised to eradicate forced labour, human rights violations, and deforestation in the supply chain. So don’t waste time,” she added.
RAN has so far encouraged their supporters to take action. More than 100,000 people have signed petitions calling on companies to go sustainable and to raise awareness in their own community. It has also negotiated policies on palm oil with several major manufacturing companies and helped bring changes in the palm oil industry by setting expectations that palm oil must be produced without involving deforestation, damage to peatlands, and violations of human rights.