Areas of rainforest continue to be cleared to make way for palm oil plantations, driven by use of palm oil in consumer products and food. The consequences for local populations and the environment can be hugely damaging.
As a purchaser of palm oil for some of our products, we continue to build responsible palm oil supply chains.
Through our partnership with Earthworm we continue to focus on developing a comprehensive understanding of our value chain, mapping and assessing the complex risks in our palm oil supply chain. This enables us to focus effort at a local level and develop programmes that support both the environment and stakeholders in the palm oil production process.
More information about our approach to the responsible sourcing of palm oil can be found in our ‘Responsible sourcing’ Insight.
In 2018 we continued to support smallholder farmers in priority areas of our supply chains. Through Earthworms ‘Rurality’ programme, we are building smallholder resilience through improved farming techniques that tackle the endemic social and environmental issues associated with palm production.
This programme works to improve smallholder access to markets by building connections between them, dealers that buy their fresh fruit bunches and mills in RB’s supply chain in Sabah, Malaysia and East Riau, Indonesia and in Southern Thailand. In each instance, considerable effort is placed on empowering smallholders to develop diversified incomes, alongside core farming activity. For example, through the rearing of goats within palm oil growing landscapes in Malaysia Borneo.