Strawberry at Kraft Foods Group’s headquarters.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and an orangutan named Strawberry met with company officials at the headquarters of food giants Kraft Foods Group and Mondelēz International on Friday. These were the first company stops on The Power Is In Your Palm Tour, and they happened the day after we announced our new national campaign to remove “Conflict Palm Oil” from America’s snack foods. Kraft Foods Group and Mondelēz International have both been named as companies in the Snack Food 20, as they produce snack foods that contain Conflict Palm Oil. While Kraft is a well-known brand, you may not have heard of Mondelēz International. In October 2012, Kraft Foods, Inc. split into two companies: Kraft Foods Group and Mondelēz International. Kraft Foods Group is now primarily a North American food and beverage company selling packaged food products like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Cool Whip, Jell-O and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Mondelēz International operates globally, specializes in snack food products and is the world’s largest chocolate company. It controls brands like Oreo, Ritz, Nabisco and Cadbury. Over the past few months, RAN has been engaging with both companies, encouraging them to develop and implement palm oil procurement policies that ensure that the palm oil in their supply chains is fully traceable, legally grown, and sourced from verified responsible palm oil producers not associated with deforestation, expansion onto carbon-rich peatlands or human and labor rights violations.
Strawberry delivering RAN’s new report to Mondelēz International.
Just prior to the publication of RAN’s report, titled Conflict Palm Oil: How U.S. Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations, Mondelēz International strengthened its palm oil procurement commitment. During our visit to their headquarters, we stressed that action is urgently needed to save the orangutan from extinction and that now is the time for Mondelēz International to develop and implement a policy that will require their suppliers to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from their supply chain and supply truly responsible palm oil. As for Kraft Foods Group, it does not have any public commitments to purchase responsible palm oil. It has not yet committed to eliminating Conflict Palm Oil or sourcing responsible palm oil that is not associated with deforestation, expansion onto carbon-rich peatlands or human and labor rights violations. During our visit, a representative of Kraft Foods Group told Strawberry the orangutan and members of our Palm Oil Action Team that they are developing new procurement policies for all the raw products they use. We told the representative that met us that Kraft Foods Group must prioritize the development and adoption of a responsible palm oil procurement policy. Both Kraft Foods Group and Mondelēz International have the market influence to engage their supply chains and make demands of major palm oil traders like Cargill. We have developed a clear roadmap for companies to follow to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from their products, and we are ready and willing to work with Kraft Foods Group and Mondelēz International to make it happen. The first step is for both companies to recognize the need to take action to drive a change in the way that palm oil is produced. You can help by calling on Kraft and Mondelēz to cut Conflict Palm Oil from their products. It’s simple, just visit www.InYourPalm.org or if you are in the U.S., call Kraft at (800) 323-0768 or Mondelēz at (877) 801-5633 today! Sign up here to find out about the next stop on the tour or join our Palm Oil Action Team if you want to help build the movement that will remove Conflict Palm Oil from snack foods. For more info, download the full Conflict Palm Oil report.