McLean, VA — Mars, Inc. is pledging to achieve a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain by the end of 2014 and has unveiled a policy to attain it, the company reports.
Central to the policy is a new sourcing charter requiring all palm oil suppliers to confirm commitment to the principles in the charter by the end of 2014 and have a fully sustainable and traceable supply chain — or at least have plans in place —across all operations by the end of 2015.
Key components of its policy include producing or purchasing raw materials from legal sources; avoiding deforestation of primary forest or areas of high conservation value; eschewing development in high carbon stock forests or peatlands; adhering to policies against forced and child labor and promoting high standards of workplace safety and health, respect for the environment; enforcing workers’ rights and compensation policies; and resolving land rights disputes through a balanced, transparent process.
Chief Sustainability Officer Barry Parkin says: “We have recognized that although we have already implemented a 100-percent certified supply of palm oil, this is not enough. We believe these additional measures will not only help build a genuinely sustainable pipeline for Mars, but will also accelerate change across the industry by encouraging our suppliers to only source from companies whose plantations and farms are responsibly run.”
In addition, Mars has joined The Forest Trust (TFT), a global non-profit organization whose mission is to deliver traceable palm oil products without deforestation, and the company reports TFT field teams will work with suppliers’ processing operations and plantations to establish supply traceability and verification programs.
The company is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) since 2010 and purchases all of its palm oil from RSPO-certified sources through the “mass balance” program.