The Kellogg Company hopes its Asian partner Wilmar International can have a productive dialogue with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) over issues surrounding its palm oil sourcing.
The comments come after a day of protests outside Kellogg’s HQ this week over its joint venture with Asia agri-giant Wilmar International – accused of trading illegally-grown palm oil in Indonesia by the WWF in a published report earlier this year .
Activist groups across the globe have called for Kellogg to either end its joint venture with Wilmar or use it to promote sustainable operations. Large networks like RAN have made calls for change , along with smaller groups like Sum Of Us and Rainforest Heroes Campaign – the group that staged the protests this week.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, vice president of communications Kris Charles said that Kellogg has provided RAN with an introduction to Wilmar.
“We hope RAN reaches out and they have a productive dialogue,” she said.
Opposition to Wilmar partnership escalates
Protestors gathered outside Kellogg HQ on Wednesday and others put calls in to the company, claimed activist group and organizers Forest Heroes.
“Yesterday was an exciting day for all Forest Heroes. A ‘call-in’ day of action generated hundreds of phone calls to Kellogg’s headquarters, all urging the company to use its partnership with Wilmar to help end rainforest destruction,” it said in a blog post.
Asked how Kellogg planned to respond to the events on Wednesday, Charles made clear that The Kellogg Company has only dealt directly with RAN, but said it is aware that Rainforest Heroes is an affiliate.
‘The vast majority of our cereals do not contain palm oil’
Kellogg has long defended its joint venture with Wilmar and has said it works hard to ensure sustainable palm oil is used.
Chief sustainability officer at Kellogg Diane Holdorf previously told this site that all of its palm oil is sustainably sourced and it works with suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
Charles supported the same stance. “We have been committed to responsibly sourcing palm oil since 2009,” she said.
She added: “The vast majority of our cereals do not contain palm oil. In the cookies, Pop-Tarts and waffles that do, it’s a small percentage of our total ingredients.”