Maruchan Responds To Pressure In An Instant: But Its New Palm Oil Commitment Falls Short

By Gemma Tillack

Maruchan_8x6.jpgMaruchan—America’s #1 instant noodle brand—has been linked to the controversial ingredient Conflict Palm Oil. The true costs of Conflict Palm Oil are staggering. This widely used vegetable oil has been tied to the destruction of rainforests, carbon-rich peatlands and the abuse of human and worker rights.

Maruchan sells 67% of the instant noodles eaten in the US and uses massive amounts of palm oil in their top selling instant noodles sold across the globe. The average package of ramen noodles is a whopping 20% palm oil (by weight) …that’s a LOT of Conflict Palm Oil.

Rainforest Action Network recently release a report titled Testing Commitments to Cut Conflict Palm Oil that exposed Maruchan, and its parent company Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., as the ‘worst performing’ laggard in the race to cut Conflict Palm Oil from the supply chains of the Snack Food 20. The company was clearly lagging behind its peers as it had not adopted any palm oil commitment. The report found that Maruchan’s products are at extremely high risk of being contaminated with Conflict Palm Oil.

Maruchan has responded by issuing a palm oil commitment that falls short of what is required. The company is requiring its suppliers to meet the entirely insufficient RSPO standard by 2020. To make matters worse, this commitment only applies to operations in the US, not products sold worldwide. With a massive worldwide reach, this is simply not enough.

Maruchan remains a laggard who has failed to meet the responsible palm oil benchmark set by its peers as it relies solely on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an inadequate certification system that permits the destruction of High Carbon Stock rainforests, peatlands, and has a poor track record of upholding the rights of local communities and workers. More on why the RSPO system is entirely inadequate can be found here.

In order to be a true leader Maruchan must adopt a truly responsible time-bound palm oil policy that sets a higher standard than the RSPO and cut its ties with bad actors that clear rainforests, peatlands and abuse the rights of communities and workers in the palm oil sector.

We have a real chance to leverage change in the palm oil sector by convincing Maruchan and other instant noodle manufacturers to cut Conflict Palm Oil for good.

Maruchan can and must do better. You can help by calling on Maruchan and other Conflict Palm Oil laggards to step up and be a leader that adopts and rapidly implements a truly responsible palm oil policy today.