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PepsiCo, Walmart, Among Global Companies and Investors Seeking Stronger Palm Oil Standards

On June 1, Global food giants and investors representing more than $5 trillion in assets, signed a letter calling for more stringent regulations and guidelines to qualify for certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Companies including PepsiCo, Walmart, ConAgra Foods Inc., General Mills, The Kellogg Co, Dunkin’ Brands, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, and Colgate-Palmolive signed the letter directed to Datuk Darrel Webber, secretary general of the RSPO in Kuala Lumpur claiming that the group does not adequately address the concerns regarding sustainability within the palm oil supply chain, leading to many companies to forge their own sustainability standards that surpass those imposed by the RSPO.

On May 5 the RSPO announced it was working on forging additional voluntary guidelines to be made available to growers, regarding more stringent requirements for deforestation, peatland development, and the rights of indigenous people, that would be in addition to the group’s existing standards.

The letter, which was organized by the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Green Century Capital Management Inc., goes on to state that the RSPO needs to do more to protect peat at all depths, report greenhouse gas emissions, conserve High Carbon Stock areas, strengthen transparency, guarantee that all palm oil comes from documented sources, and to ensure the more frequent auditing and enforcing of standards with RSPO member companies.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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