Palm oil. From the moment you wake up and eat your breakfast, to brushing your teeth just before you go to bed, the chances are you have already consumed palm oil dozens of times.
This ingredient touches almost every aspect of our lives and palm oil also been shown to be produced by workers and children trapped in modern slavery.
The vast majority of global palm oil comes from plantations in tropical countries, where journalists and workers' rights organisations have documented widespread exploitation. Workers are often trafficked into bonded labour, forced to live and work under extreme conditions, with limited legal recourse, and suffer from physical or threatened abuse. Child labour is also known to be rampant throughout palm oil plantations.
Why? Companies like PepsiCo, one of the world's largest snack food and beverage companies, demand cheap palm oil to use in their products while asking few questions about where it comes from or the damage caused.
PepsiCo uses palm oil in a huge array of products we consume everyday – and it has no way of knowing if its palm oil is slavery-free. But we can change this.
Call on PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to pledge to exclusively and immediately use slavery-free palm oil.
As a consumer, I am appalled to learn about the rampant human rights abuses prevalent in the palm oil industry as documented in reports from Humanity United and the Rainforest Action Network. As palm oil usage grows in the global north, we need to ensure that our purchasing habits do not result in modern slavery in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.
As a leading buyer of global palm oil, PepsiCo has a responsibility to ensure that the products they sell us do not contain ingredients produced with modern slavery. While we applaud your commitments in your latest palm oil policy, we feel it doesn't go far enough, nor does it address how you plan to enforce your policy to ensure that your palm oil doesn't not come from suppliers using modern slavery.
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