Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, on Thursday announced a policy for zero deforestation, for its palm oil source.
The policy sets a December 2017 target for establishing safeguards for palm oil sourcing. Yum! is saying it will only source from suppliers who block plantation development in high carbon stock and high conservation value areas, like rainforests and peat lands; have disputes resolution processes in place; offer traceability to the mill level; and avoid underage workers and forced labor. The standards apply to all of Yum!’s restaurants.
Greenpeace quickly welcomed the announcement, which campaigned to contradict in 2012, the company’s pulp and paper sourcing practices.
Rolf Skar, Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA
said that Greenpeace wants Yum! to ” define more clearly terms like ‘high carbon stock forest’ and ‘best management practices’ for peat lands in order to make sure change really happens on the ground.”
However, an advocacy group, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), on Wednesday gave a score card for the company, zero out of 100 rank on its palm oil policy, wanted much more from Yum!
“Yum! Brands seems to have good intentions with its commitment. But palm oil is also a common ingredient in some the company’s baked goods and sauces, there the problem lies, products that are prepared by a third-party vendor, are not covered under the commitment. This is where the commitment loses effectivity,” said in a statement.
Nevertheless, UCS’s Lael Goodman said the policy would enhance Yum!’s scorecard, moving it out of the bottom spot it shared with Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr. and Domino’s.
“However, if Yum! Brands wants to be an environmental leader amongst fast food giants, the company should to extend the commitment to all forms of palm oil and bulk up its transparency efforts. Such transparency efforts include reporting the quantities of palm oil used and on the commitment’s implementation.”