Late last night, Wilmar International announced its commitment to new, environmentally responsible practices for cultivating palm oil. The “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” policy proclamation came in response to global demonstrations against the Asian agribusiness giant’s previous practices, which resulted in widespread deforestation and threatened the existence of the Sumatran tiger.
Wilmar’s irresponsible practices caught the attention of activists in West Michigan when the organization partnered with the Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company. The Forest Heroes campaign was quick to point out that the same palm oil Kellogg’s received from Wilmar to make Frosted Flakes, whose mascot is Tony the Tiger, was harming real-life tigers around the world.
“Today, Tony the Tiger’s roar was heard halfway around the world,” said Deborah Lapidus, Campaigns Director of Catapult, in a press release from Forest Heroes. “With a massive boost from the determined advocacy of Michigan communities, Wilmar has announced it will implement a comprehensive policy to protect forests. And we are told a big reason why is that Kellogg’s picked up the phone and demanded action. Thank you, Kellogg’s, for listening to your Michigan neighbors.”
With its new policies, Wilmar International is committing to both forests and people, as the changes will cover Wilmar’s plantations and those of its subsidiaries and third-party suppliers. The plan includes a realistic, time-limited implementation strategy to protect forests, workers, communities, and carbon-rich peatlands. The changes give hope to the homes of not just Sumatran tigers but fellow endangered species like orangutans, elephants, and rhinos.
WMEAC and Forest Heroes applaud Wilmar International’s commitment to responsible cultivation of palm oil and look forward to seeing the new policies put into action.