Hillshire Brands Company is a laggard company with a weak palm oil commitment that relies solely on the inadequate Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system and lacks requirements for suppliers to end destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights. As a matter of urgency, Hillshire Brands Company, and its parent company Tyson Foods, needs to adopt a global responsible palm oil procurement policy that includes a time-bound plan to cut Conflict Palm Oil.
Current Palm Oil Commitment (2010):
Has a commitment “to support palm oil produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner by purchasing GreenPalm palm oil certification” for 12.5 percent of the total volume of palm oil used in [their] products.
Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:
No additional requirements for suppliers to end destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights
No assertive deadline for eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from all branded products and global operations
No requirement for palm oil to be traceable to the plantation level
No requirement for compliance across suppliers’ entire operations
No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across growers’ entire operations
No requirement for independent verification of supplier compliance with responsible palm oil production practices, including no destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights
No published commitment or procedures to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil suppliers
No public time-bound implementation plan, with clear performance based milestones for achieving traceable, transparent and independently verified supply chains
No commitment to transparent reporting on progress towards full implementation of commitment
No requirement for public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders
Relies solely on the inadequate Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system
Ongoing reliance on discredited RSPO GreenPalm Certificates instead of supply chain transformation
Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions
Company products at extreme risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil
In August 2014, Hillshire Brands was acquired by Tyson Foods, a company that also lacks a global time-bound responsible palm oil procurement policy.