Grupo Bimbo has emerged as a front runner as it has released a responsible palm oil commitment that requires its suppliers to comply with a higher standard than the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by ending the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights across entire operations.
In order to drive real change, Grupo Bimbo should commit to independent third-party verification of compliance for all its suppliers and publish a time-bound plan with an assertive deadline to cut Conflict Palm Oil.
Current Palm Oil Commitment (September 2015):
Requires suppliers to go beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and end the destruction of rainforests; protect and restore peatlands; avoid the use of paraquat; uphold human and labor rights; avoid recruitment fees for workers and resolve conflicts including by providing redress for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Applies to all branded products in all countries where products are made and sold Requires palm oil to be traceable to the plantation level.
Has commissioned a second-party to ‘map and assess” their supply chain and “will work with other third-parties to achieve and verify company-wide compliance"
Has a commitment to “work with suppliers to create a corrective action plan with reasonable time commitments to meet our requirements ” and “where suppliers fail to meet time-bound requirements” terminate contracts.
Has a commitment to transparent reporting on progress biannually towards full implementation of commitment and regularly disclosing a list of top suppliers and sourcing countries
Expects suppliers to adopt their own “time-bound responsible palm oil policies”
Encourages public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders
Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:
No assertive deadline for eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from all branded products and global operations
No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across growers’ entire operations
No requirement for all suppliers to undergo independent, third-party 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 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 requirement for public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders
Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions
Company products at high risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil