Sustainability continues to be top of mind for many – so when a Greenpeace investigation suggested that New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra’s key supplier of palm kernel extract has links to a huge expanse of deforestation in Indonesia it caught your attention on social media.
The clearing of tropical rainforest for palm plantations has been linked to climate change and the loss of habitat for endangered animals like the orangutan.
Fonterra imports PKE, a product made by the palm oil industry for supplementary feed. According to Greenpeace, New Zealand is the world’s largest user, bringing in a quarter of the global supply.
Two years ago, Fonterra agreed to adopt an industry standard to ensure its use of PKE wasn’t leading to deforestation. Greenpeace, however, alleges the dairy cooperative’s main supplier of PKE, Wilmar International Limited, has links to the mass destruction of rainforest in Papua, Indonesia.
Responding to these concerns, Fonterra defended its green credentials and highlighted its membership of organisations like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and The Forrest Trust. “We are evaluating the performance of our palm products supply chain and compliance with our standard,” the company added.