June 25, 2018

General Mills Moves Forward With Sustainable Palm Oil Plan

General Mills is moving forward with its commitment to source 100 percent of its palm oil from responsible and sustainable producers by 2015. Because of its mild flavor, palm oil, a saturated fat,  is one option food companies have chosen as a replacement for trans fats in snack food items. It’s also used in beauty products and cleaning agents.

To meet the growing demand for palm oil, suppliers are clearing tropical forests, sometimes by burning them destroying critical habitat and contributing to air pollution by removing existing forest often by burning it. The Union for Concerned Scientists (UCS) has a scorecard for 30 major companies that use palm oil in their products. General Mills is one of them.

Although the company committed in 2010 to sourcing all of its palm oils sustainably by 2015, UCS had previously given the company a low score. UCS says the company’s decision to updated its palm oil policy to include protection of peatlands is a step in the right direction, but hopes the company will reexamine its definition of High Carbon Stock forests.

“It’s really up to major brands to turn the tide on the palm oil industry. If companies start demanding palm oil that’s deforestation-free, peatlands-free and exploitation-free, palm oil producers will start providing a better product. This better oil will also reduce emissions. It’s a win-win for consumers and the environment,” said Sharon Smith, campaign manager with UCS’s Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative.

 

 

 

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