How We Took the Lead on Sourcing Palm Oil Sustainably

The Hershey Company joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2011 and by the end of 2014, all of our palm oil purchases were 100 percent Mass Balance RSPO-certified palm oil. Our efforts with suppliers continued through the end of 2014, when we were able to ensure all of our palm oil purchases were 100 percent Mass Balance RSPO-certified palm oil.

Partnership with The Forest Trust

Over the past several years, we have been focused on achieving the highest standard in palm oil sustainable sourcing.

The Hershey Company is a member of The Forest Trust (TFT), a non-profit organization that is helping us achieve a traceable supply chain that adheres to our Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy.

Our work with TFT has enabled us to trace our palm oil and palm kernel oil to 99% of the mills in our supply chain as of the end of 2017. Tracing to a mill location provided information about where palm oil was harvested and can indicate whether it came from an area where there are social or environmental risks. It also enables us to have constructive conversations with our suppliers about environmental and social concerns and how these can be remediated and properly addressed.

For our second half 2017 purchases, we traced our palm oil more than to 1,600 mills located in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Thailand. During this reported period, we sourced the oil from seven suppliers: AAK, Cargill, Fuji Oil, Gemini, IOI Loders Croklaan, Jing Yi and Wilmar.

Our traceability to the plantation level for the second half of 2017 came down to 6% due to changes within our supply chain. In the process, we continue to learn a great deal about this supply chain and the challenges inherent to tracing the oils back to the plantations that produce it. We remain deeply committed to pushing all stakeholders to accelerate traceability and bring full transparency to this supply chain. While we realized it would take more time to achieve this goal, we remain fully committed to achieving supply chain traceability to the plantation level by 2020.

We will continue to provide annual updates on our palm oil tracing efforts through our Corporate Social Responsibility Report to give stakeholders visibility into our ongoing progress.


Palm oil has many benefits, which is why it’s in high demand. Palm oil is the number one produced edible oil in the world; its popularity is largely due to it not containing trans fats. With the growth in demand for palm oil, current sourcing practices are not sustainable.

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