TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2009
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Whole Foods Comes Out With Palm Oil Statement!

We are happy to announce that Whole Foods Market has become a voice for change in the palm oil industry and has written a statement in alignment with RAN's Pledge to Protect Rainforests, Family Farmers and our Climate. ***** The Whole Foods Market statement on palm oil: Whole Foods Market is concerned with the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production in tropical rainforest ecosystems around the world. Whole Foods is committed to protecting rainforests, communities and our global climate, and therefore Whole Foods has partnered with the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), a highly regarded international certification agency whose social responsibility and fair trade certification program requires successful implementation of environmental, social responsibility, and sustainability practices on the land and within the company's organization. Whole Foods Market pledges to use IMO's reliable certification program, along with independent supply chain verification, in the sourcing of palm oil in our private label products. Whole Foods Market pledges to support the development of more sources of sustainable, fairly traded palm oil, to ensure that palm oil in our private label brand products are not sourced from the conversion of rainforest ecosystems or from companies engaged in the conversion of natural forests and/or peatlands; respect the free, prior and informed consent of interested communities and meet or exceed RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) principles and criteria. Whole Foods Market pledges that it will only use sources of palm oil independently verified and certified to these criteria in our private label brand products by 2012. Whole Foods Market calls on our peers in the food industry to join with us in this pledge. ***** Whole Foods Market is ready to move forward as a company that wants to do the right thing by oil palm. It is committed to working with RAN in partnership toward creative solutions, and has agreed to investigate its supply chain, writing personal letters to each of its suppliers. With this statement, Whole Foods Market is joining the growing group of businesses sending a clear marketplace signal that they want to see these issues addressed and that companies do not want to be associated with the environmentally destructive and socially devastating practices associated with the expansion of oil palm plantations. Here's to taking a stand for the protection of rainforests and for the indigenous and forest-based communities impacted by palm oil expansion.

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