Press Releases

March 26, 2015

Sustainability Issues Shadow the Kraft Heinz Merger

Two food giants merge into one Conflict Palm Oil culprit

San Francisco, CA - Yesterday’s merger of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and H.J Heinz Company combine two companies, both highlighted as laggards among Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) Snack Food 20 group, noted for their failure to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from their supply chains and brand products.

Promoted by financier Warren Buffett as good news for shareholder value, the merger creates the world’s 5th largest food and beverage company, with a projected annual revenue of $28 billion and a massive environmental footprint. Both food companies have been profiled by RAN as being at high risk of sourcing Conflict Palm Oil, but have yet to adopt and implement the policies and practices needed to cut deforestation, climate pollution and human rights abuses from their palm oil supply chains.

Rainforest Action Network’s Agribusiness Campaign Director, Gemma Tillack, said, "This $40 billion merger focuses on growing profits, but these are too often at the expense of chopped down rainforests and human and labor rights violations, which are driven by the snack food industry’s use of Conflict Palm Oil. A food company of this scale has a massive global footprint, and needs to be accountable for the social and environmental impacts in its supply chains.

“Rainforest Action Network calls on the new Kraft Heinz Company to adopt and implement a robust responsible palm oil procurement policy and clean up its supply chains as its first order of business.”

For more info: The full report titled ‘Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations’ can be downloaded here: http://ran.org/conflict-palm-oil