Hormel Foods Corporation has emerged as a frontrunner 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, Hormel Foods should publish a time-bound plan and establish robust risk assessment and verification procedures that require all suppliers to verify that they have cut Conflict Palm Oil by an ambitious deadline.
Current Palm Oil Commitment (2016):
Requires suppliers to go beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and end the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights
Applies to all branded products or in all countries where products are made and sold
Sets a deadline to source traceable to the plantation by 2020
Requires compliance across its suppliers’ entire operations
Requires suppliers to verify the palm oil they source meets responsible production practices on the destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights annually, which will be reviewed by the Hormel Foods Palm Oil Council.
Has a commitment to annually report on progress towards the implementation of its own palm oil commitments
“In the event an audit or other credible source reveals a supplier is in violation of [its] policy, Hormel Foods will implement corrective actions. If reasonable/appropriate corrective actions cannot be agreed to, Hormel Foods will suspend or discontinue purchases from the supplier”
Encourages public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders
Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:
No assertive deadline to achieve independent verification of compliance with responsible palm oil production practices, including no destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights
No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across growers’ entire operations
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
Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions
Company products at high risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil