Consumer Advocate: ‘Discovery of New Orangutan Species in Sumatra Proves How Much We Have to Lose from Conflict Palm Oil Production’
New Facebook Video Urges Goodman Fielder to ‘Clean Up It’s Act’ on Palm Oil
MELBOURNE — Last week, numerous news outlets reported on the discovery of a new species of Orangutan living in the Sumatran mountains. The population of 800 apes living in the Batang Toru Mountains, the first new ape species discovered in the last 100 years, are considered the rarest species of Great Ape, and are expected to quickly earn endangered and protected status.
According to SumOfUs, the discovery of the new Orangutan species reinforces the need for major food producers, like Australia’s Goodman Fielder, to clarify and reconsider their palm oil procurement policies and guarantee that the palm oil used in their products comes only from responsible palm oil sources. Earlier this year, SumOfUs sent a letter to Goodman Fielder’s CEO Scott Weitemeyer, to align Goodman Fielder’s palm oil procurement policy to that of other global food giants and ensure that their palm oil suppliers meet the no-deforestation, no-peat, and no-worker exploitation benchmarks achieved by other companies like Kellogg’s, Mars, and Ferrero.
Goodman Fielder is jointly owned by Wilmar and First Pacific — both are companies that have links to conflict palm oil plantations across Southeast Asia.
Last week, SumOfUs released a new video on Facebook urging Goodman Fielder to clean up its act and clarify its palm oil policy.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: https://www.facebook.com/SumOfUsOrg/videos/1506338699452125/?fref=ts
In September, SumOfUs urged Goodman Fielder to address concerns with its palm oil sourcing, writing in a letter to CEO Scott Weitemeyer:
“Goodman Fielder’s published position articulates a ‘shared concern about the impacts of deforestation’ but there is little evidence to suggest that Goodman Fielder has implemented additional measures to end deforestation in its global supply chain. In this regard, Goodman Fielder is lagging behind its peers that have published policies and taken action that go well beyond the RSPO standards in their sustainability efforts.”
SumOfUs continues, by explaining that:
“RSPO certification is inadequate, and cannot be used as a verification mechanism to demonstrate truly responsible palm oil product. [RSPO standards] still allows ‘certified sustainable’ palm oil producers to destroy high carbon stock rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands, and to violate the rights of communities and workers”
“Goodman Fielder’s current policy on palm oil directly links the company to the catastrophic destruction of rainforests across Southeast Asia. While acknowledging the dangers of deforestation, Goodman Fielder fails to address the fundamental problems of rainforest destruction and the fact that workers across Southeast Asia, including children, are trapped in modern slavery in the production of palm oil,” explained Katherine Tu, campaign manager for SumOfUs. “Workers on conflict palm oil plantations can’t afford half-measures—and our planet can’t afford to wait. It is critical that Goodman Fielder clarifies its palm oil policy to get rid of labor violations on its plantations and address deforestation and human rights abuses in a timely manner. Simply put—Goodman Fielder can, and must do better.”
SumOfUs is a global consumer group that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable. Over 10 million people have taken over 50 million actions worldwide with SumOfUs since it launched.