New scorecard reveals that consumer goods companies fail to uphold human rights in their palm oil supply chains
WASHINGTON – A scorecard released today by Friends of the Earth U.S. finds that the world’s largest and most recognizable consumer goods companies are failing to hold destructive palm oil supplier Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) accountable for ongoing human rights and environmental violations in Central and West Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The scorecard, which coincides with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)’s annual meeting this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, shows that many consumer goods companies continue to source palm oil from AAL despite the company’s well-documented abuses. Kellogg’s, PepsiCo and Mondelez ranked the worst, while Hershey’s and Procter & Gamble scored higher in part due to their recent decisions to suspend business ties with AAL.
Brands are also failing to push the palm oil company to return stolen land back to communities and provide compensation for environmental devastation and the loss of land and livelihoods. Notably, all sixteen consumer brands with supply chain links to AAL are RSPO members.
Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Director at Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement:
Despite frequent talk of sustainability and membership in the RSPO, household brands working with AAL continue to use land grabbing, criminalization and environmental destruction as hidden ingredients in their products.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises require companies to respect human rights, address rights violations in their value chains and provide remedy for adverse impacts. It’s shameful and ironic that as the RSPO meets this week, consumer brands linked to AAL and its subsidiaries are falling far short of these crucial standards.
Instead of paying lip service to so-called “sustainable” business practices, companies should be doing everything possible to shift away from the dominant model of industrial agricultural production predicated on violent land grabbing and environmental destruction – beginning with providing compensation for past harms.