MARS HAS announced its new policy to help build a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain by the end of this year. The company has also pledged to focus on other raw materials that have an impact on the environment such as beef, pulp, paper and soy in its new deforestation plan.
The food and drink manufacturer of well-known brands such as Uncle Ben’s, Dolmio and Maltesers has followed in the footsteps of other large food corporations such as Kellogg’s, in their commitment to sustainable palm oil. The new policy means Mars will adhere to industry leading standards to develop a fully traceable pipeline back to known palm oil processing mills.
Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer, Mars, Incorporated stated, “Rapid expansion of palm oil plantations continues to threaten environmentally sensitive areas of tropical rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands.
“We have recognised that even though we have already implemented a 100% certified supply of Palm Oil this is not enough. We believe that these additional measures will not only help build a genuinely sustainable pipeline for Mars, but will also help accelerate change across the industry by encouraging our suppliers to only source from companies whose plantations and farms are responsibly run.”
As part of the policy, all Mars’ suppliers are now required to have a fully sustainable and traceable palm oil supply across their operations by the end of 2015 and will have to confirm their commitment to the principles by the end of 2014.
Every six months the company will issue online updates on its progress in fulfilling its palm oil pledge and produce an annual Principle in Action Summary report.
The business will also continue to partner with industry, governments and civil society on broader efforts to protect forests and ensure mutual benefits for the workers and communities that rely on them. This includes its new membership of The Forest Trust (TFT), a global non-profit organization focused on the delivery of responsible products.
TFT director Bastien Sachet says: “Making a strong commitment is the first important step to fight deforestation. But the second one – and the most important one - is to effectively “walk the talk”. We are pleased to start walking the talk with Mars to reach full traceability and No Deforestation for the palm oil they buy.”