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ConAgra Food has emerged as a front runner as it has released a responsible palm oil commitment that requires its suppliers to comply with a higher standard than the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by ending the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights across entire operations.

In order to drive real change, ConAgra should commit to verify traceability to known plantations, require independent third-party verification of supplier compliance, and publish a time-bound plan that includes performance-based milestones that will be need to be met to cut Conflict Palm Oil by its 2015 deadline.

Current Palm Oil Commitment (September 2014):

Requires suppliers to go beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and end the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights

“Traceability to the extraction mill and validation of fresh fruit bunches to the plantation estate”

Applies to all branded products in all countries where its products are made and sold

Sets an assertive deadline to only source from responsible suppliers of palm oil for global operations by the end of 2015

Has a commitment to “move to suspend or eliminate palm oil purchases from supplier in question [that is] seriously violating the stated principles...if that supplier does not acknowledge and immediately move to acceptably remediate the concern”

Requires compliance across suppliers’ entire operations

Has a commitment to transparent reporting on progress annually towards full implementation of commitment

Encourage suppliers to regularly update their progress

Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:

Have not committed to verify traceability to known plantations in its supply chain and conduct supplier assessments

No requirement for independent, third-party verification of supplier compliance with responsible palm oil production practices, including no destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights

No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across grower entire operations

No published procedures to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil suppliers

No public time-bound implementation plan, with clear performance based milestones for achieving traceable, transparent and independently verified supply chains

Lack clear requirements for transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders

Ongoing reliance on discredited RSPO GreenPalm Certificates instead of supply chain transformation

Current status:

Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions

Company products at high risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil

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