In a statement sent to FoodNavigator.com, the firm’s director for global sustainability Jonathan Horrell said:
“We’ve called on IOI to implement group-wide reforms, over and above regaining RSPO status. While we are encouraged by the action they’ve taken so far, we urge IOI Group to quickly withdraw its legal challenge against the RSPO and build relations with stakeholders.”
The Oreo and Cadbury owner rarely names suppliers, but is thought to be the first company to have publicly urged IOI to drop its legal action against the RSPO.
Horrell confirmed that the company has already stopped buying RSPO-certified palm oil from IOI Group companies and is in the process of “phasing out purchasing all supplies”.
He added: “We will maintain our engagement with IOI during this process and will reconsider their status as a supplier when there is evidence of a credible plan being implemented against clear milestones.”
Last week FoodNavigator reported that Nestlé was cutting all ties with IOI – an assessment of the action plan submitted to the RSPO to get the suspension lifted “did not go far enough” in tackling the issues that had been raised.
On May 9, IOI announced that it had filed a challenge proceeding in the Zurich District Court of Switzerland against the suspension decision made by RSPO’s board of governors.
“…We feel that we have been unfairly affected by the extent and scope of the suspension decision which was recommended by the Complaints Panel and subsequently endorsed by the Board of RSPO,” said CEO Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor at the time.