Deforestation. Child labor. Climate pollution. Is this what you want in your home?

We may not know it, but Conflict Palm Oil has become ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

It is found in roughly half of all packaged products sold in US grocery stores, hiding in everything from favorite snack foods like ice cream, candy, and instant noodles, to household items like laundry detergent, toothpaste and shampoo. Palm oil has become the most widely used vegetable oil on Earth.

The demand for palm oil continues to skyrocket worldwide. In the US, the snack food industry uses Conflict Palm Oil as a replacement for more commonly known and controversial trans fats.

But the demand for palm oil comes at a high price. Palm oil production is responsible for terrible human rights violations as corporations often forcefully remove Indigenous Peoples and rural communities from their lands in order to expand their palm oil plantations. Tragically, child labor, modern day slavery and other serious labor abuses occur on plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, where most of the world’s palm oil is grown.

Conflict Palm Oil production is also one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. Plantation expansion is pushing deep into the heart of some of the world’s most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran and Bornean Orangutan are being driven to the brink of extinction.

Conflict Palm Oil is not only a local problem to Indonesia or Malaysia. The clearing of rainforests and the draining and burning of carbon-rich peatlands for new plantations is releasing globally significant amounts of carbon pollution, making Conflict Palm Oil a major driver of human-induced climate change.

Is this really the price we should have to pay for our snack food? We must stop Conflict Palm Oil in its tracks. That’s why Rainforest Action Network is fighting back, putting pressure on twenty of the most well known food companies in the world—the Snack Food 20—to get Conflict Palm Oil off the shelves right now.

Rainforest Action Network launched our palm oil campaign with a goal to fundamentally change the way palm oil is produced. United as customers and citizens, we’re telling brands that vibrant forests, healthy communities and a stable climate are worth more than a company’s bottom line. We are demanding that these companies commit to using only responsible palm oil produced without causing the destruction of rainforests, carbon rich peatlands or the abuse of human rights.

The crisis caused by Conflict Palm Oil is urgent and the stakes are high. Luckily there is something you can do about it.

Learn more with our palm oil FAQ, fact sheet and resources for students and teachers

Snack Food 20

Since 2014, many of the biggest companies in the palm oil industry announced groundbreaking, globally responsible palm oil commitments and pledged to eliminate forest and peatland destruction and human and labor rights abuses from their supply chains.

You have helped us convince some of the biggest snack food giants such as Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondelez, Hershey’s, General Mills, Nestlé, Unilever, ConAgra Foods, Smucker’s, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Brands, Kraft Heinz and Grupo Bimbo to adopt stronger responsible palm oil policies.

Learn more about the Snack Food 20

Even still, a company policy needs to be worth more than the paper it’s printed on. And there are still major companies who have lagged behind their peers and failed to put adequate policies in place to cut Conflict Palm Oil.

PepsiCo is a key laggard as one of the biggest purchasers of palm oil in the Snack Food 20 which has still not produced an adequate palm oil policy. Major work remains to push companies to uphold their policies and demand that the laggards address their Conflict Palm Oil problem by adopting strong policies and translating them to real changes on the ground.

The crisis caused by Conflict Palm Oil is urgent and the stakes are high. Luckily, there is something you can do about it. Join us as we take on the Snack Food 20 and win!

Read our Snack Food 20 Scorecard

PepsiCo

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company and, for years, it has refused to take full responsibility for one of the most controversial ingredients in its products—Conflict Palm Oil.

PepsiCo is a huge purchaser of palm oil and knowingly does business with companies which are responsible for the deforestation of some of Indonesia’s last rainforests. PepsiCo maintains business partnerships with Indonesian food giant Indofood –– a company that has been exposed, multiple times, for labor abuse and exploitation. PepsiCo is avoiding the true cost of Conflict Palm Oil while we’re all paying the price.

We will continue to hold a hard line with PepsiCo, calling out its false claims and demanding that the company do what’s right. We will resist its “business as usual” corporate profiteering that comes by the hands of children and at the expense of strong communities, safe jobs, clean water, healthy ecosystems and a stable climate.

Palm Oil Labor

Exploited workers and rainforest destruction: it’s a package deal for Conflict Palm Oil.

Let’s make no mistake: Conflict Palm Oil is an exploitative, extractive industry, and one that seeks to squeeze the most profit out of the process as possible. This means inadequate environmental safeguards, and this also means exploited workers. After the rainforests fall, rows and rows of palm oil trees take their place, and generations of palm oil workers are left to face ongoing devastation. There are an estimated 3.5 million workers on palm oil plantations, suffering under the extractive industry of Conflict Palm Oil.

Conflict Palm Oil Laggards like PepsiCo are turning a blind eye to the problem, as the Laggards continue to source palm oil from companies who abuse workers on their palm oil plantations, cheating them out of fair pay and benefits, exposing them to toxic chemicals, forcing them to bring their children and spouses to work and even sometimes trafficking and enslaving these workers. All for cheap Conflict Palm Oil.