Suppliers of more than 55 percent of the world’s palm oil have committed to produce or trade 100 percent deforestation-free palm oil in response to demands by global brands, who in turn were responding to investor pressure, according to Ceres.General Mills, Kellogg and Safeway are among the several food and beverage firms, supermarket companies and grocery store chains to commit to responsibly source 100 percent of their palm oil in response to shareholder resolutions.
Biotech giant Monsanto's permit to plant genetically modified soybeans that resist the company's pesticide 'Roundup' was overturned by a district judge in the state of Yucatán in Mexico last month, reports the Guardian. This marks a big victory for the group of Mayan beekeepers and farmers who along with Greenpeace, the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas and the National Institute of Ecology have been protesting against the permit.
PepsiCo has announced it will begin incorporating cashew juice into its blended juice products next spring as part of partnership with the Clinton Foundation, which aims to encourage sustainable agriculture and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Maharashtra, India.Through the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership model, founded by President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra, this initiative will apply modern agricultural techniques to improve cashew farming practices, boost yield and productivity, and increase income for local smallholder farmers. It will also scale up and strengthen India’s cashew supply chain to build the future potential of a domestic and export market.
This morning, Kellogg announced a new set of commitments aimed at protecting its supply chain and increasing the efficiency of its operations. Specifically, the company has pledged to responsibly source its top 10 ingredients and materials by 2020 (as rival General Mills did last fall); boost its agricultural sustainability by supporting smallholder farmers; and meet more aggressive goals around increased energy efficiency and reduced water use, waste and packaging.
Bacardi is working with global nonprofit Bonsucro to foster sustainability in the sugarcane sector as part of its effort to make good on its promise of obtaining 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rums from certified, sustainable sources by 2017 and 100 percent by 2022.Bacardi says this means acquiring all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials, while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers.
Nestlé UK & Ireland and Tata Global Beverages have both announced they are committed to achieving 100 percent sustainable sourcing for their products as part of their overall sustainability strategies.For Nestlé, which has aimed to achieve 100 percent sustainable sourcing of its cocoa by the end of 2015, this would be a milestone event — making it the first major confectionery company to do so in the UK and Ireland.The confectioner works with both UTZ Certified and the Fairtrade Foundation as part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, where currently 60 percent of the chocolate purchased in the UK and Ireland is sourced from certified farms.
The Coca-Cola Company and its African bottling partners announced a new investment of $5 billion during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held earlier this week. To be made over the next six years, this increases the company’s total announced investment in Africa to $17 billion from 2010 to 2020.The companies anticipate that the investment will fund new manufacturing lines, cooling and distribution equipment and production; create additional jobs and opportunities across Coke’s African supply chain; and support key sustainability initiatives and programs focused on safe water access, sustainable sourcing, women’s economic empowerment, community well-being and operational efficiency improvements.
Tiffany & Co. now sources 100 percent of its diamonds from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines and traces 98 percent of its raw precious metals directly to a mine or recycler, according to the company’s new corporate responsibility report.The report provides an overview of the jewelry company’s most important environmental and social challenges, with a focus on responsible mining and sourcing of its raw materials, ranging from diamonds and gold to the paper in its signature Blue Boxes and bags. It aligns with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 “In Accordance – Core” and United Nations Global Compact reporting frameworks.
Separating sustainable sources from non-sustainable sources in the production of palm oil and palm kernel oil is highly complicated, but Procter & Gamble is attempting to address the problem as part of its recently upgraded commitment to a zero-deforestation palm oil supply chain. The Company announced Thursday it is conducting an in-field study to understand the practices of smallholder farmers — and how they can be improved to protect local forests.
The word “manifesto” rarely conjures up positive connotations. That word brings to my mind Karl Marx’s famous tome, at best, and, at worst, images of a bearded man in a remote cabin. Regardless, it’s a word most often associated with people or groups with strongly held convictions trying to shake up the status quo. It is odd then that a group of major palm oil producers and traders should use that term for a recent effort to redefine “sustainable” palm oil.
Seven of the world's largest industry associations have collaborated with Source Intelligence and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP to launch a web-based training module within the Conflict Minerals Resource Center (CMRC).The organizations say the goal of the joint initiative is to deploy an easy-to-use conflict minerals training tool for suppliers in their seven industries. The training module is based on the best practices developed by leaders in these industries and their suppliers during the 2013 conflict minerals reporting period.
With a number of NGO campaigns demanding that companies pledge to use zero-deforestation palm oil — and industry groups such as the Consumer Goods Forum pledging zero-net deforestation by 2020 for soy, palm oil, livestock and timber — companies are scrambling to find sustainable supplies of palm oil.
Keurig Green Mountain has announced the results of a 2013 scientific study, Thin Months Revisited. Conducted in partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group (ARLG) of the University of Vermont, the study reexamines the livelihoods of smallholder coffee-growing families in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua to understand how farmer welfare has changed, compared with a 2007 baseline study in the same countries. The 2013 results show marked improvements in food security since 2007, which may be partially attributed to initiatives from companies such as Keurig over the last few years.
The public debate on palm oil centers on large corporate entities driving the industry, while ignoring smallholders that make up 40 percent of planted hectares, according to a new whitepaper by CSR Asia.In emerging palm-growing markets, such as Thailand, smallholders make up almost 80 percent of production area, the paper says.The new paper looks at the experience of smallholders in the case of palm oil – primarily through the work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) set up in 2003 to define and implement standards for sustainable palm oil. The paper examines the certification process and the opportunities that this can provide for smallholders.
IKEA Foundation and Save the Children have announced plans to expand a child rights program aimed at protecting children living in cotton communities in India.So far, the initiative has helped to protect more than 600,000 children, IKEA says. The $9.4 million expansion will extend the program’s reach to keep an additional 790,000 children out of cotton fields and in classrooms where they can learn, play, grow and develop. There are an estimated 12.6 million child laborers in India.
80 environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals from 27 countries sent a letter today to Apple's VP of Environmental Affairs Lisa Jackson, the former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging her to address worker safety in its supplier factories in China.
Moving goods from raw ingredients to finished products is complex and requires a significant amount of energy. A bottle of Budweiser, for example, starts with transporting barley and other materials to the brewery and then shipping our finished product to millions of sales points around the world. This flow is what we call transportation logistics, and the sector contributes to 5.5 percent of all global carbon emissions, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
With such a flurry of activity going on this week at SB ’14 San Diego, we wanted to share some of it as it happens.Here, McDonald’s Bob Langert, Caesars Entertainment’s Jessica Rosman and Dell’s Michael Murphy about the need for collaboration and consistent criteria in sustainable purchasing.Jessica RosmanBob Langert
McDonald's will soon allow its restaurants in different international markets to follow region-specific guidelines for achieving its recent pledge to purchase sustainable beef.In January, the fast food company — one of the largest buyers of beef in the US — pledged to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016, with the goal of eventually buying all of its beef from sustainable sources.
I travel a lot for my job and after long days on the road the one thing that gets me through is constancy. I pack basically the same clothes for every trip and try to keep up the same workout routine, but the one place it’s hard to keep things constant is in what I eat. While trying new foods is part of the adventure of travel, sometimes when I’m hot and tired from a few days or weeks in a country thousands of miles from home, all I want is something familiar. At times like that, I turn to American fast food and take comfort in McDonald’s golden arches, the cooling taste of a Coke ICEE from Burger King, or the morning rush of a frosted doughnut and sugar-spiked iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.