Kellogg’s Bows to Pressure, Issues New Palm Oil Commitment; Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Responds

RAN Welcomes ‘Step in the Right Direction’ but says thorough, rapid implementation needed to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from Kellogg’s products


Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161

SAN FRANCISCO—In the face of growing criticism over its use of the controversial food additive palm oil, Michigan-based food giant Kellogg released a new palm oil sourcing commitment today. Today’s announcement is notable in that it goes beyond the often-criticized standards of “sustainable” palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

With 2013 sales of $14.8 billion and more than 1,600 foods, Kellogg is the world’s leading cereal company and the second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks. By its own estimate, the Kellogg Company – maker of popular food products that include Special K, Eggo Waffles, and Pop Tarts – purchases one out of every thousand tons of palm oil produced worldwide.

“Kellogg has taken a step in the right direction, but a statement of intent is not the same as a binding, time-bound responsible palm oil policy. For communities and orangutans in Indonesia what matters now is that Kellogg puts this commitment into action with thorough and rapid implementation,” said Rainforest Action Network senior forest campaigner Gemma Tillack. “Kellogg’s new commitment requires its suppliers to stop destroying rainforests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, violating human rights and using forced and child labor by December 31, 2015.”

This announcement follows the release of strengthened palm oil purchasing policies from other major consumer companies including Unilever, Nestle and Ferrero as well as a new ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ policy by Wilmar International. Wilmar is the world’s largest trader of palm oil and a supplier and joint venture partner of Kellogg.

Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) and its allies Girl Scout activists Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen have pressured Kellogg to address this issue for many years. RAN’s Last Stand of the Orangutan campaign, launched in the fall of 2013, calls on Kellogg and 19 other top snack food companies – dubbed the ‘Snack Food 20’ – to address their use of Conflict Palm Oil connected to rainforest destruction, orangutan extinction, human rights violations and climate pollution.

For more info: The full report titled ‘Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations’ can be downloaded here: