Palm oil has many benefits, which is why it’s in high demand. Palm oil is the number one produced edible oil in the world; its popularity is largely due to it not containing trans fats. With the growth in demand for palm oil, current sourcing practices are not sustainable.

How We Took the Lead on Sourcing Palm Oil Sustainably

The Hershey Company joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2011 and by the end of 2014, all of our palm oil purchases were 100 percent Mass Balance RSPO-certified palm oil. We remain committed to purchasing 100% RSPO certified mass balance palm oil. 

Partnership with The Forest Trust

Over the past several years, we have been focused on achieving the highest standard in palm oil sustainable sourcing.

The Hershey Company is a member of The Forest Trust (TFT), a non-profit organization that is helping us achieve a traceable supply chain that adheres to our Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy.

Our work with TFT has enabled us to trace our palm oil and palm kernel oil to 99.6% of the mills as of the second half of 2018. Tracing to a mill location provided information about where palm oil was harvested and can indicate whether it came from an area where there are social or environmental risks. It also enables us to have constructive conversations with our suppliers about environmental and social concerns and how these can be remediated and properly addressed.

For our second half 2018 purchases, we traced our palm oil more than to 1,330 mills. During this reported period, we sourced the oil from seven suppliers: AAK, Cargill, Fuji Oil, Gemini, Bunge, ISF and Wilmar.

Our traceability to the plantation level for the second half of 2018 rose to 34% Traceability to Plantation (TTP). We continue to learn a great deal about this supply chain and the challenges inherent to tracing the oils back to the plantations that produce it. We remain deeply committed to pushing all stakeholders to accelerate traceability and bring full transparency to this supply chain. While we realized it would take more time to achieve this goal, we remain fully committed to achieving supply chain traceability to the plantation level by 2020.

We will continue to provide annual updates on our palm oil tracing efforts through our Corporate Social Responsibility Report to give stakeholders visibility into our ongoing progress.

Current Topics

We expect all of our palm oil sourcing partners to be compliant to our Supplier Code of Conduct and uphold our rigorous Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy and remain compliant to NDPE commitments. Failure to do so, could lead to suspension in accordance with our sourcing policy.

Our latest palm oil supply chain updates:
February 2018 - We were concerned to learn in early 2018 about reports of ongoing violations of workers’ rights on Indofood Agri Resources’ plantations. While we do not directly source palm oil from Indofood Agri Resources, we instructed our direct sourcing partners to remove Indofood’s oil from our supply chain until further notice. Should Indofood’s situation change, we will re-evaluate this position.

November 2018 - We also learned of repeated NDPE violations by Surya Panen Subur (SPS / SPS II) which led to immediate investigations with our supply chain partners. As a result, we have decided to instruct our suppliers to remove PT Surya Panen Subur (SPS / PT SPS II) from our overall supply chain, effective immediately until further notice.

December 2018 – Following the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suspension of FGV Holdings Berhad (formerly Felda) for illegal labor practices, we instructed our direct suppliers to remove FGV from our supply chain as well.

September 16, 2019 - After investigating the latest allegations that 12 producers are contributing to deforestation in the Leuser Ecosytem, we reviewed our 2018 supply chain traceability data and determined that potentially two of the 12 companies are indirectly connected to our supply chain. As a result, we are working with our suppliers to confirm their awareness of these allegations, verify whether the palm oil from these producers is in our supply chain and obtain details about what actions they have taken with these companies to address and correct the issues.

Hershey remains committed to mapping its palm oil supply chain and reporting mapping progress bi-annually and will monitor and ensure these suspensions are effectively implemented. These suspensions will remain in place until we see acceptable, timebound corrective action plans with proven progress that leads to a resolution. We continue to encourage our suppliers to remain engaged with these suspended parties to push for meaningful and decisive correction action plans and establishment of a timeline and progress report.


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