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% of the mills in our supply chain since 2017. 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 first half 2018 purchases, we traced our palm oil more than to 1,400 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 first half of 2018 rose by 12% to 18% 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 uphold our rigorous Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy.

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.

In 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. This suspension will remain in place until we see an acceptable, timebound corrective action plan with proven progress that leads to a resolution.