And yet in another Earth Day-related announcement, The Hershey Co. announced yesterday that it, together with The Forest Trust (TFT), has traced its supply chain to more than 94 percent of all the mills that supply its palm and palm kernel oil globally. 

As a result, the supply mapping has given the company insight into its palm oil sources from suppliers originating back to the mill level. This information will help the company better understand if any sourcing is linked to areas of potential deforestation or social challenges within the production of its palm oil. While Hershey completes its mill-level mapping, the company has begun the next phase of work – mapping its palm oil supply chain back to the plantation level – which it expects to complete in 2016.

Highlights from the palm oil tracing campaign include:

  • More than 1,200 mills supply palm oil to Hershey manufacturing facilities worldwide
  • Mills are located in two regions; Southeast Asia (1,235 mills) and Central America (11 mills)
  • Palm oil is used in 13 Hershey plants located in three countries: The United States (9 plants), Mexico (2 plants) and China (2 plants)

Tracing Hershey’s palm oil supply is part of a commitment the company made in 2014 to source responsible, traceable palm oil. As part of this commitment, Hershey implemented a new, comprehensive palm oil sourcing policy for all of its palm suppliers.

“This first phase of mapping is critical to meeting our high standards for ethical palm oil sourcing,” says Frank Day, Hershey’s v.p. of global. “We will use this information to work with our suppliers to meet our rigorous new policy requirements and Hershey’s Supplier Code of Conduct. Should issues arise in our palm oil supply chain through this process, we will work quickly to remediate them.”

The mapping work is helping to clarify the level of cooperation needed from palm oil suppliers for Hershey to achieve its responsible sourcing goals. Hershey is working with TFT, a respected global non-profit organization that works with companies to help transform the way they source their products.

 The Hershey Co.’s updated responsible palm oil sourcing policy is available on the company’s website.