For the second year in a row, I’ve just left PepsiCo’s Annual General Meeting in New Bern, NC. In the two years that I’ve been here, and in the two years that RAN has been campaigning on PepsiCo, I’ve delivered the same message. It’s a simple one: PepsiCo can and must do more to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from the products it sells.
PepsiCo is uniquely situated to have a global impact for the better. Using roughly 457,200 metric tons of palm oil a year, what PepsiCo does directly impacts the global trade in palm oil. A strong commitment to ending deforestation, protecting human rights, and eliminating social ills like land grabs and child and forced labor will fundamentally change the way palm oil is produced in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Latin America. A weak commitment riddled with loopholes means more of the same for the world’s forests and their inhabitants.
PepsiCo can either continue with business as usual approach or take bold action to drive changes urgently needed in the palm oil sector. PepsiCo has demonstrated that it is ready to make some changes, but we need to ensure that those changes go far enough to truly protect the climate, forests, and the people and animals who rely on them.
PepsiCo can and must be a leader, pushing its peers and the industry forward. It can and must trace its palm oil back to the plantations it was grown on, and it must implement third party verification so it can guarantee that its products are free of Conflict Palm Oil. PepsiCo’s current published palm oil commitment still has loopholes big enough to drive a bulldozer through – and right now, those bulldozers are laying waste to the world’s forests. I presented PepsiCo with the steps that must be taken for it to truly eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain – you can read them here.
I’m proud of the work that every activist across the globe has done to demand change at PepsiCo, and I’m confident that we can convince PepsiCo to do better, to make meaningful changes that protect forests and peatlands and uphold the rights of communities and workers. We’ll continue to push until the world’s forests are truly protected, and you can help. Send PepsiCo an email now, telling it to make the right choice and to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil once and for all.