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Brands, traders, producers and Deforestation debate heats up, key meeting next month

Greenpeace’s new “Moment of Truth” campaign report today claims that:

“Eight major household brands such as PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Heinz are refusing to say where their palm oil comes from, despite promising to stop buying from companies that destroy rainforests. Eight others, such as Nestlé and Unilever, have made their palm oil supply chains more transparent.”

The report, which has a slightly angry tone in places, also points out that, in the view of Greenpeace:

“…many brands have (subsequently) chosen to measure progress in terms of the percentage of their suppliers with NDPE policies, rather than in terms of successful implementation of those policies.”

…”A more meaningful metric would report the share of palm oil supply that comes from producers whose operations have been verified as compliant with NDPE policies”

I don’t disagree with a lot of what they are saying in the report, where they are justifiably going after some palm oil businesses unknown to consumers but still determined to deforest, it seems. The fact that they say the palm oil from these firms is in the supply chains of many/all key, cleaner players is worrying. I’d love to know what the numbers/percentages are there.

That aside, I do think Greenpeace really ought to give more credit to what has been achieved so far by brands taking action, and many/most of the big traders and producers on the ground. Greenpeace are happy to do that behind closed doors, but ought to be confident about saying it in public too. Unless this isn’t a confidence issue, and there’s another reason. (Note: I am a member and donor to Greenpeace personally)  (continues below)

My highlighting here. This seems like a key point/argument from the report.

We’ll be discussing this, and the potential campaigner/brand/trader/producer conflicts looming over deforestation progress more generally, as 2020 deadlines approach, at Innovation Forum’s How business can tackle deforestation (Washington, DC, 18-19 April).

It’s not ALL about palm oil, as we know. Soy, cattle, timber and potential deforestation of areas in Africa etc for timber are all just as concerning. So the conference will reflect that, and the progress being made in the key areas, or lack of it, in some.

The forum is planned with 2020 deadlines on zero deforestation commitments around the corner. Over the two days, we’ll take a realistic look at where companies are meeting targets, whilst also discussing where companies are likely to miss. We’ll maintain an emphasis on pragmatic debate, as we discuss the best ways for all stakeholders to respond.

Taking part are senior representatives from Unilever, General Mills, Mondelēz International, Johnson & Johnson, Sappi North America, 3M, Target, The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Georgia-Pacific, Pirelli, Neste, RAN, Bunge, Office Depot, CDP, Ceres and many more.

By bringing together a broad range of the key players, we’re able to get into robust discussion around the big issues, including:

Practical discussion on the role of business in implementing jurisdictional programs in land management, with Unilever, Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund, RAN and Environmental Defense Fund

General Mills, Mars, Mondelēz International and World Cocoa Foundation on the latest progress with the Cocoa and Forests Initiative

Debate around the business case and benefits of scaling restoration efforts, with The Nature Conservancy, WRI, Taylor Guitars and Rainforest Alliance

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration… A series of case studies which assess some of the leading partnerships contributing to zero deforestation targets

For a look at the full range of topics covered, head to the online agenda.

You can register online or email me directly to secure your place.

Given the nature of the conference, a number of organisations have registered multiple team members. If you’re interested in doing the same, get in touch for details of group discounts.

Let us know if you have any questions at all. And we hope to see you next month!

To get involved, please contact:

Azadeh Ardakani | Project Director

Innovation Forum: events and insight for sustainability