Use of palm oil in the United States alone has increased by some 500 percent over the past decade, according to the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), an advocacy group. The group estimates that palm oil is currently found in roughly half of all packaged foods on U.S. shelves.
Feb. 5 marked the anniversary of APP’s announcement by company Chairman Teguh Ganda Wijaya that it had stopped the destruction of natural forest lands in Indonesia, and in marking this milestone, the company has announced further areas of focus going forward.
“Kellogg has taken a step in the right direction, but a statement of intent is not the same as a binding, time-bound responsible palm oil policy. For communities and orangutans in Indonesia what matters now is that Kellogg puts this commitment into action with thorough and rapid implementation," said Rainforest Action Network senior forest campaigner Gemma Tillack.
I spoke to folks at the Rainforest Action Network. They've been very involved and have spent a lot of time on the ground there, and they say another issue is children working in the industry. What sometimes happens, they say, is that when workers are trying to meet production quotas, if they're not close to fulfilling a quota, they might bring in children to help.
Eventually, workers on Adam’s plantation were able to enlist the assistance of Rainforest Action Network and the Malaysian NGO Sawit Watch. Pressure from these two groups resulted in many workers being allowed to leave, and promises from KLK to pay back wages to workers and blacklist the third party labor recruiter responsible for providing the workforce for the plantation.