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November 02, 2015

PepsiCo Misses Mark with New Action Plan As Indonesia Burns For Palm Oil

Most recent inaction confirms PepsiCo as laggard among ‘Snack Food 20’ group of companies, says Rainforest Action Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Emma Rae Lierley, Emma@ran.org, 425.281.1989

San Francisco, CA - Quietly released last Friday afternoon, PepsiCo’s latest palm oil action plan does little to address the corporation’s contribution to the deadly, and devastating, environmental and human rights crises currently underway in Indonesia, as the islands of Sumatra and Borneo continue to burn from intentionally set forest fires lit to clear land for palm oil production.

The latest action plan confirms PepsiCo’s place as a laggard among the ‘Snack Food 20’ group of companies profiled by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), and comes in the wake of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index recently dropping the snack food giant from its list.

Gemma Tillack, Agribusiness Campaign Director for Rainforest Action Network, said:

“Rainforest Action Network is disappointed that PepsiCo continues to fail to take responsibility for the impact of its products sold globally. PepsiCo has a huge role to play in the highly problematic global production of Conflict Palm Oil, but will continue to accept ‘business as usual’ operations from its suppliers, including Indofood,” said Tillack.

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company and, using one percent of all palm oil produced in the world, has a significant role to play in transforming palm oil production. PepsiCo continues to maintain a joint venture partnership with Indonesian food giant Indofood, which is the sole maker of PepsiCo branded products in Indonesia and Indonesia’s third largest private palm oil company. Indofood has a track record of egregious business practices, including deforestation, labor rights violations and ongoing conflicts with local communities, and is the largest private palm oil company in Indonesia that lacks a responsible palm oil policy.

“With this action plan, PepsiCo has failed to set a deadline for breaking the links between its products and companies that are destroying rainforests and peatlands, and abusing human and labor rights. Instead, its action plan reconfirms to only source physically certified palm oil by 2020––a deadline out of step with what is needed.

“This latest move falls below the standard set by PepsiCo’s peers, which have recognized the need to go beyond sourcing Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil. The RSPO is a scheme that permits the destruction of forests, peatlands and has a poor track record of upholding the rights of local communities and workers.

“Given the crisis unfolding in Indonesia, consumers around the world will not accept inaction and will continue to demand that PepsiCo address its Conflict Palm Oil problem. RAN stands ready and willing to work with PepsiCo and its newly appointed implementation partner to develop a credible action plan that will drive efforts to independently verify that deforestation and human and labor rights will no longer taint the snack food giant’s supply chain,” concluded Tillack.

For more information on PepsiCo’s Conflict Palm Oil problem in Indonesia download the full report Palm Oil Sustainability Assessment of Indofood Agri Resources or a summary report, titled Indofood: PepsiCo’s Indonesian Palm Oil Problem, here: http://www.ran.org/indofood_report.

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