photo: Neil Palmer/International Center for Tropical Agriculture via flickr
Or tuck into your bowl of Cheerios happily knowing that doing so won't be helping General Mills contribute to killing orangutans and other endangered species, nor trampling on indigenous rights. After pressure from and consultation with Rainforest Action Network, the Minneapolis-based food giant has committed to obtaining 100% of its palm oil from sustainable sources by 2015. In its press statement General Mills said the move is "to help ensure our purchases are not associated in any way with deforestation of the world's rainforests and to further reinforce the development of certified sustainable palm oil production practices."
General Mills uses about one-tenth of the world's total palm oil production and notes, "We acknowledge that responsible users of even small amounts of ingredients can impact issues via principled purchasing decisions."
General Mills also expressed support for a moratorium on destruction of high-conservation value forests and high-carbon value landscapes (peat lands, upon which a good number of palm oil plantations are located), adding that it will "never knowingly source palm oil produced through palm oil expansion resulting in deforestation or destruction of such vulnerable ecosystems."
Rainforest Action Network praised the move, saying,
As a company with some of the most beloved brands in the nation, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper, General Mills' decision to address deforestation in its supply chain is a major industry signal that palm oil is a problem that can and should be addressed.
More on the RAN reaction: America's Favorite Food Company Leads the Food Industry Away From Rainforest Destruction
Lest you think that you don't eat products associated with General Mills because you avoid mass-market brands, Cascadian Farm, Good Earth tea, Lärabar, Muir Glen, and Nature Valley are all part of the General Mill family of brands.
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More on Palm Oil:
Commercial Palm Oil Production in Southeast Asia Violating Indigenous Peoples' Rights
Palm Oil Plantations on Peat Soil No Longer Quality for Clean Development Mechanism Carbon Credits
Rainforest Destroying Palm Oil Hiding in Far More Products Than Previously Thought
Palm Oil Plantations Store Even Less Carbon That We Thought, New Study Shows