Great Britain

Kellogg's updates palm oil policy after hundreds of thousands sign petition

Kellogg’s has updated its international palm oil policy after a campaign launched by two British schoolgirls garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures.

The petition, which is titled: “Kellogg’s: Stop destroying rainforests for cheap palm oil!” was first created two years ago by sisters Asha and Jia Kirkpatrick, then 11 and nine years old.

Their aim, they wrote in the campaign’s description on Change.org, was to urge the food manufacturer to stop sourcing their palm oil “from unsustainable companies that are destroying rainforests and killing orangutans”, and to “trace the palm oil from seed to shelf and inform the public exactly where it came from”.

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Asha and Jia have been featured in the news on several occasions, accumulating more than 785,000 supporters for their petition.

And now, two years after they conceived their initiative, Kellogg’s has amended its Global Palm Oil Policy, in addition to launching a Global Deforestation Policy.

“As a socially responsible company, Kellogg’s is committed to working with its global palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil that is produced in a manner that’s environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable, which includes helping to mitigate deforestation,” the firm said in a statement sent to The Independent.

“Although Kellogg uses a very small amount of palm oil globally, we have been working since 2009 to improve its sustainability.”

The firm explained that it has committed to sourcing palm oil from suppliers and locations “that uphold the company’s commitment to protect forests and peat lands, as well as human and community rights”.

The company outlined that the palm oil it purchases for use in Europe, excluding Russia, is “certified as Segregated”.

“That means it originates from RSPO-certified estates and plantations, where RSPO [Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil] ensures it is produced in a sustainable way and is certified as such,” Kellogg’s said.

“It also means we can trace the palm oil we buy for use in our foods from the moment it leaves the accredited sustainable palm oil mill, through our supply and manufacturing processes and into our food.”

The food manufacturer added that it is “committed to transparency in sourcing”, which means that it “discloses all potential mills that may or may not be present” within its supply chain at any time, “regardless of volume or potential frequency”.

Asha and Jia celebrated the update to the Kellogg’s palm oil policy on their campaign page.

“Due to our petition and all your support, Kellogg’s have released the most ambitious global palm oil policy in the industry!” the sisters and their mother, Harvinder Dhinsa, wrote.

“These are tentative first steps on an exciting new journey and Kellogg’s and the wider industry have much to prove.”