Quantcast

Pop-Tart Pledge: Kellogg Rejects Palm Oil From Decimated Rainforests

Food

Kellogg Co. has pledged it will start buying palm oil only from companies that don’t destroy tropical rainforests to produce the additive used in several processed foods like Pop-Tarts, reports the Associated Press

Palm oil is a relatively minor ingredient used in Kellogg products like Pop-Tarts, cookies and waffles, however, most of its cereals don’t contain it.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The move was in response to a lengthy campaign by environmental groups which pressured the cereal giant to cease buying palm oil from plantations that disrupt rainforests in Southeast Asian nations, primarily Indonesia. 

The exotic forests house several endangered species, including the orangutan and Sumatran tiger. According to those protesting the practice, palm oil cultivation has obliterated more than 30,000 square miles of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests.

To uphold it promise, Kellogg announced last week it would require its suppliers to track their palm oil to plantations that comply with the law and meet standards for protecting the environment and human rights.

The policy also applies to processors and growers, said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer.

“We must ensure they are all producing palm oil in a way that’s environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable,” said Holdorf to the Associated Press. 

Palm oil is a relatively minor ingredient used in Kellogg products like cookies, pastries and waffles, however, most of its cereals don’t contain it, she said.

The announcement drew praise from environmental groups, which converged at Kellogg’s headquarters in protest late last year. They referred to the new policy, which requires compliance or substantial progress by Dec. 31, 2015, as the industry’s toughest.

Palm oil generates $50 billion a year and is used in about 50 percent of all packaged foods, according to Green Century Capital Management Inc., which filed a shareholder proposal in 2013 urging Kellogg to purchase only deforestation-free oil. The investment company says U.S. imports have jumped nearly five times in the last 10 years.

Environmental groups also credited Kellogg with persuading joint venture partner Wilmar International Ltd., the world’s biggest palm oil trading company, to revamp its policies.

Wilmar announced late last year its plantations and suppliers would protect forests with high conservation values, prohibit using fire to clear land and ban development on peatlands.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and HEALTH pages for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Individual standing in Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Jill Carlson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis

Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Read More Show Less
A pregnant woman works out in front of the skyline of London. SHansche / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less