Thursday, January 28, 2010

General Mills Responds to Rainforest Action Network Campaign

As reported yesterday, the environmental activist group Rainforest Action Network launched a campaign against the company General Mills for using palm oil, the production of which results in rainforest destruction, in many of their product lines.

General Mills was quick to respond and clarify that they only use a modest amount of palm oil and palm oil derivatives in their products, and that they have engaged their suppliers, which are all members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO); and will only purchase from suppliers who meet RSPO principles and criteria.

It is also reassuring that General Mills publicly supports a moratorium on palm oil expansion in tropical rainforests. Unfortunately, their palm oil supplier, Cargill, does not. In Cargill’s recently updated “Palm Oil Commitments”, Cargill commits to no expansion into high conservation value forests (HCVF) or peatlands and only expand on “degraded land”. As the largest importer of palm oil into the United States, Cargill should expand their commitment by supporting a moratorium on palm oil expansion in Southest Asia as other companies have already done. It is hoped that General Mills can convince Cargill to support a moratorium.

General Mills should not only meet RSPO principles and criteria, but exceed that criteria, and certainly should not continue to do business with a supplier such as Cargill, who is not strongly committed to stopping rainforest construction.

To learn more about socially and environmentally responsible palm oil, check out our reccommendations for market leaders and our model policy at

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