Today, major palm oil trader IOI Loders Croklaan and its parent company IOI Corporation affirmed their shared commitment to source palm oil free of deforestation and human rights abuses. While IOI Loders Croklaan had previously said their policy applies to IOI Corporation, the parent company had not yet affirmed that fact, so this announcement addresses that important gap and signals buy-in by IOI Corporation.
“IOI’s commitment to forest conservation is yet another sign of the growing movement toward responsible palm oil,” said Forest Heroes campaign director Deborah Lapidus. “Being a responsible supplier means that your standards apply to the entire supply chain and subsidiaries.”
IOI’s statement is available here: http://northamerica.croklaan.com/news/mutual-responsibility-statement-between-ioi-corporation-and-ioi-loders-crok/.
In response to IOI’s announcement, Forest Heroes said it would reevaluate IOI’s ranking in the campaign’s Green Tigers report on palm oil companies’ performance on environmental and human rights criteria, based on conversations with the company and further analysis of its implementation plan and actions. It is important that the company’s implementation plans address labor issues, and include credible verification.
In November 2014, IOI Loders Croklaan—which controls an estimated 10.5% of the global palm oil trade—issued a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation policy for its palm oil supply chain. At the time, IOI Loders Croklaan became the fifth global palm oil trader to commit to zero-deforestation sourcing requirements, following similar policies from Wilmar, GAR, Cargill and Bunge.
The move came after Forest Heroes campaigned for months by targeting IOI as “the worst company you’ve never heard of,” and asked hundreds of IOI’s customers and investors to avoid doing business with the compay. Forest Heroes volunteers also held a series of events outside doughnut stores that use palm oil to urge doughnut companies to break their links with IOI. Industry leaders like Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme responded to the calls from their customers by adopting No Deforestation policies.
“IOI’s policy means that the market for deforestation-based palm oil is rapidly closing,” said Forest Heroes chairman Glenn Hurowitz. “There’s no longer any excuse for consumer companies to purchase palm oil from rogue actors like Astra Agro Lestari that have continued to destroy rainforests.”