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Mars commits to fully sustainable palm oil by year-end

American candy giant Mars is to develop a fully traceable pipeline back to known palm oil processing mills by year-end 2014.

The policy is at the forefront of the business' strengthened commitment to tackle deforestation, and further supported by the launch of its new deforestation policy. In addition to palm oil, Mars will also focus on other raw materials that have the greatest impact on forests: beef, pulp and paper, and soy.

"Rapid expansion of palm oil plantations continues to threaten environmentally sensitive areas of tropical rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands, as well as the rights of communities that depend on them for their livelihoods. We have recognized that even though we have already implemented a 100% certified supply of Palm Oil this is not enough," said Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer.

As part of the policy, Mars has introduced a new sourcing charter that will require all its suppliers to have a fully sustainable and traceable palm oil supply across all their operations by the end of 2015 (or to have plans in place by the end of 2015 for doing so) and to have confirmed their commitment to the principles in its sourcing charter by the end of this year.

In addition, Mars has become a member of The Forest Trust (TFT), a global non-profit organization focused on the delivery of responsible products. All TFT's palm oil members are companies that are committed to traceable, No Deforestation palm oil. TFT field teams will work with Mars suppliers in mills and plantations to help them build traceability and verify that their fresh-fruit bunch supply, including supply from smallholders, meets Mars' sourcing charter.

Mars | Global | Palm Oil

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