TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Kellogg Co. says it will buy palm oil only from companies that don’t destroy tropical rainforests to produce the additive used in many processed foods.
The cereal giant responded to a campaign by environmental groups that have long pressured the food industry to shun palm oil from plantations that displace rainforests in Southeast Asian nations, primarily Indonesia. The forests are home to endangered species such as the orangutan and Sumatran tiger. Palm oil cultivation has wiped out more than 30,000 square miles of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia alone, say leaders of a campaign to reform the practice.
Battle Creek-based Kellogg announced last week it would require its suppliers to trace their palm oil to plantations that have been verified independently as complying with the law and meeting standards for protecting the environment and human rights. The policy also applies to processors and growers, said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer.