Palm oil is a high-yielding, land-efficient crop and an important raw material for the food industry. Its production contributes to economic development in many emerging markets. High demand has led to the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations, often in environmentally sensitive areas.
We use only 0.2 percent of global palm oil supplies; very small amounts are present in many of our products. We support the sustainable production of palm oil and are committed to sourcing it more sustainably.
Mars is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a non-profit membership organization that promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil. We chose to join the RSPO to help increase the momentum and impact of the organization’s progress, as it is the only credible organization affecting real and lasting change in how palm oil is produced.
Currently, we source palm oil only from other RSPO members, and we remain committed to using 100 percent RSPO-certified palm oil by 2015. A key milestone in this journey will be to use only palm oil sourced via the “mass balance” approach within the RSPO’s certification program for our chocolate, candy and gum products by 2013. These products account for 96 percent of the palm oil used by Mars, Incorporated, meaning our new accelerated target will place us well on track to meet our 2015 commitment.
“Mass balance” allows suppliers to mix RSPO-certified palm oil with other sources, reducing the complexity of maintaining two separate supplies. This will make the whole supply chain more sustainable and efficient over time, speed the introduction of certified supplies to the market and hasten the rate of sustainable change in palm oil producing countries.
In 2011, 14.5 percent of the palm oil purchased by Mars, Incorporated was either RSPO-certified or sourced via the mass balance approach.