Friday, 15 May 2009

Whole Foods Market® Supports End to Unsustainable Palm Oil

Whole Foods Market® Supports End to Unsustainable Palm Oil

Natural and Organic Grocer Joins Rainforest Action Network

In Movement to End Rainforest Destruction

SAN FRANCISCO – Whole Foods Market has joined Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in expressing concern for the unsustainable practices of the global palm oil industry and calling for change in the U.S. Market. The largest organic retailer in the U.S. has voiced its commitment to sourcing palm oil that does not contribute to destroying the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, displace communities or contribute to global climate change.

One of the most popular ingredients in many cosmetic and consumer goods, palm oil has also become the leading driver of deforestation in Southeast Asia, and increasingly the Amazon rainforest, as Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil raze their unique forestlands to plant the crop. U.S. agribusiness giants Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill play a leading role in this destruction, by importing palm oil to sell to U.S. retailers that use palm oil in soaps, lotions and packaged foods.

“With the statement on their website, Whole Foods Market is sending a clear signal that they do not want to be associated with the destruction of rainforests due to the expansion of oil palm plantations,” said Leila Salazar-Lopez, director of RAN’s Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign. “We applaud Whole Foods for their leadership and urge other companies and palm oil suppliers to add their voices to this call for change in the U.S. palm oil supply chain.”

Whole Foods Market joins 37 other food, cosmetic and consumer goods companies and two organic palm oil suppliers who have signed a Rainforest Action Network (RAN) pledge to seek more sustainable ways of sourcing palm oil. The full pledge and more information can be found at

The Whole Food Market statement on palm oil can be found below or on their website at:

The Whole Foods Market statement on palm oil:

Whole Foods Market is concerned with the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production in tropical rainforest ecosystems around the world. Whole Foods is committed to protecting rainforests, communities and our global climate, and therefore Whole Foods has partnered with the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), a highly regarded international certification agency whose social responsibility and fair trade certification program requires successful implementation of environmental, social responsibility, and sustainability practices on the land and within the company's organization.

Whole Foods Market pledges to use IMO's reliable certification program, along with independent supply chain verification, in the sourcing of palm oil in our private label products. Whole Foods Market pledges to support the development of more sources of sustainable, fairly traded palm oil, to ensure that palm oil in our private label brand products are not sourced from the conversion of rainforest ecosystems or from companies engaged in the conversion of natural forests and/or peatlands; respect the free, prior and informed consent of interested communities and meet or exceed RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) principles and criteria.

Whole Foods Market pledges that it will only use sources of palm oil independently verified and certified to these criteria in our private label brand products by 2012. Whole Foods Market calls on our peers in the food industry to join with us in this pledge.

Rainforest Action Network campaigns to break America’s oil and coal addictions, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action. For more information, please visit:

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