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PepsiCo Faces Activist Outrage, Plus Threats of More to Come

*Note: this article was updated 8/8 with a statement from PepsiCo.

PepsiCo is being blasted by an environmental activist group – and threatened with further campaigns against it – following the beverage giant’s release of its Palm Oil Action Plan Progress Report earlier this week. The Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which published a report in April that accused PepsiCo of deforestation, climate emissions and human and labor rights abuses in terms of its palm oil sourcing, now claims that the progress report is an attempt to “window dress its lack of progress.”

The environmental group says that, until PepsiCo starts “enforcing an end to rainforest destruction” and other violations within its supply chain, RAN will continue to target the company and its financial backers with its anti-Pepsi PR campaigns.

The group says that PepsiCo has not identified a deadline to end abuses in its supply chain, though the company has announced its target of increasing its procurement of certified sustainable palm oil to 30% by the end of this year. “In some local markets, physically certified supply is not currently available, and greater investment in capacity building is required,” PepsiCo said in its progress report.

While PepsiCo is now able to trace 89% of its palm oil back to the mill level, getting to the source earlier in the supply chain is a challenge because there is no common industry definition of traceability among farms and plantations. PepsiCo says it is collaborating with industry and other stakeholders to address the gap.

 In a statement, PepsiCo claims that RAN “continues to misrepresent our work. The new updated progress report demonstrates the breadth and depth of our sustainable palm oil efforts. Our commitments are time bound, and we are encouraged by the progress we’ve made against them.”


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