Ferrero have been named first in the World Wildlife Fund’s Palm Oil Buyer’s Scorecard.
The company achieved a near-perfect score of 21.5 out of 22, taking out the top ranking of the 173 companies assessed.
The scorecard evaluates major retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and food service companies (including a diverse range from L’Oreal to McDonald’s to Walmart) from Australia, Europe, North America, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia on steps taken to become more sustainable.
These include only using sustainable palm oil throughout their supply chains, but also measures being taken to protect and benefit smallholders and communities. As well as efforts to protect the biodiversity in areas at risk of irresponsible palm oil farming.
A spokesperson from Ferrero Australia told C&I magazine they were committed to responsible practices.
“We are fully committed to securing a deforestation-free and exploitation-free palm oil supply chain through ongoing cooperation with NGOs, key stakeholders and suppliers. These elements are essential components of sustainable sourcing and supply chain responsibility,” they said.
The WWF found only a quarter of the companies assessed had invested in on-the-ground initiatives in at-risk areas.
Ferrero’s ranking follows a commitment over the last 15 years to invest in a more sustainable palm oil supply chain, particularly within the last five, through measures including sourcing 100% certified segregated palm oil, a target they achieved in 2014.
The WWF described Ferrero’s efforts as encouraging and proof that sourcing palm oil that is both sustainable and deforestation-free was attainable.
Ferrero have also pledged to maintain and improve on trace-ability from plantation to factory, to work with suppliers to prevent unsustainable practices, and establish a transparent Grievance Mechanism.