The Hershey Company has announced a palm oil sourcing policy that updates and strengthens its commitment to source 100 percent traceable and responsible palm oil, a commitment the company announced in December 2013.
The new sourcing policy details the requirements to which all suppliers in the company’s palm oil supply chain will be held accountable. In addition to provisions that protect against deforestation, preserve native species’ habitats and protect the environment, the new sourcing policy also provides details on labor and human rights protections and the inclusion of smallholder palm farmers in the supply chain.
To help trace its palm oil supply chain and safeguard supplier adherence to the its palm oil sourcing policy, Hershey has become a member of The Forest Trust. TFT will review and evaluate the Hershey palm oil supply chain and help the company make adjustments to achieve its progressive objectives.
Another major palm-oil user — Cargill — became a member of TFT last week to advance its sustainable palm oil policy.
Hershey expects to achieve traceability to the mill level by first quarter 2015. From there, the company will use this information to assess which suppliers present the highest risk for engaging in deforestation. Hershey will require that these suppliers commit to implementing responsible expansion procedures to the plantation level in 2016.
The company will publicly report progress annually on its website beginning in the first quarter of 2015 after having completed the initial phase of supply chain mapping with the TFT.
Hershey’s announcement follows the New York Declaration on Forests, signed yesterday at the UN Climate Summit by countries, civil society groups and multi-nationals — including Mondelez International, Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Cargill, and Asia Pulp and Paper — that pledges to cut the loss of forests in half by 2020 and end it in 2030, eliminating the emission of between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.