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POIG Shared Responsibility Impact Report Launched

In connection with the 10-year anniversary and conclusion of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, a series of impact reports are being produced. They capture some of the efforts made by POIG’s members, the impact of POIG’s work on the RSPO and palm oil production and use in general and share the lessons and questions still outstanding to achieve responsible supply chains that has broken the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peatlands, the exploitation of communities and workers, and climate change.

The third publication in the series can be downloaded here. The report looks back on retailer and manufacturer brands’ contribution in driving uptake of certified palm oil products, and showcases important innovations on derivatives, acquisitions and supply chain engagement.

POIG Verification and Assurance Publication Launched

In connection with the 10-year anniversary and conclusion of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, a series of impact reports are being produced. They are capturing a summary of the efforts made by POIG’s members, the impact of POIG’s work on the RSPO and palm oil production and use in general and share the lessons and questions still outstanding to achieve responsible supply chains that has broken the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peatlands, the exploitation of communities and workers, and climate change.

The second publication in the series can be downloaded here. The report looks back on the innovations adopted on verification and assurance and includes reflections from POIG grower and NGO members regarding its utility and impact.

POIG No Exploitation Impact Report launched

In connection with the 10-year anniversary and conclusion of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, a series of impact reports are being produced. They are capturing a summary of the efforts made by POIG’s members, the impact of POIG’s work on the RSPO and palm oil production and use in general and share the lessons and questions still outstanding to achieve responsible supply chains that has broken the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peatlands, the exploitation of communities and workers, and climate change.

The first report on No Exploitation is now available here and summarises POIG growers’ innovations around issues such as the living wage, gender equality and smallholder income.

The Living Wage: A Crucial Building Block for Responsible Palm Oil Growers

Download the publication.

Launched in April 2014, the Palm Oil Innovation Group Indicators was the first palm oil verification standard requiring grower members to undertake a living wage assessment, as defined by the Global Living Wage Coalition’s ANKER Framework.

With the support of POIG members, it was therefore a welcome outcome when the RSPO 2018 P&C review included new indicator (6.2.6) requiring that a living wage is paid to all workers. Furthermore, the RSPO endorsed the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) Framework as the standard for growers to apply.

However, the new indicator did not require all growers to undertake their own living wage assessment, but rather rely on GLWC benchmarks, on the National Interpretation Working Groups, and on future guidance by the RSPO. As a consequence, in the five years since the adoption, few grower members have implemented the indicator, blaming lack of relevant guidance, and there are now concerns that the living wage indicator may be watered down or abandoned in the ongoing 2023 P&C review.

From POIG’s perspective, abandoning the living wage requirement would set back the Workers’ Rights components of the P&C significantly, and undermine the reputation and robustness of the RSPO Standard in the eyes of commercial, regulatory and civil society stakeholders globally.

This publication is developed to showcase that the implementation of a living wage is feasible in a wide variety of national, local and cultural contexts. However, as demonstrated by POIG’s grower members, it is critical that living wage assessments are undertaken locally, by the company itself with real-life local data and stakeholder participation. The three companies featured have all used the same methodology but have adapted it to align with different contexts. This publication does not seek to rubberstamp the various approaches and conclusions, but rather showcase how companies in different contexts can gain valuable insights and provide better economic conditions for workers and their families.

Download the publication to learn more about the methodologies applied by the three case studies featuring the POIG verified growers.

Conclusion of POIG

POIG has worked to achieve better outcomes for all since 2013. As we approach our 10th year in 2023, we will share our journey, lessons, outcomes, and challenges in a series of impact reports to mark the formal conclusion of our initiative.

The first of the reports is scheduled for publication beginning 2023. Please sign-up with your name and email on the lower left of this page to receive notification for updates.

Please reach out to [email protected] for further information.

POIG RMWG Annual Progress Report 2020

Closing in on fully responsible palm oil

The manufacturers in the Palm Oil Innovation Group demonstrate sustained progress towards deforestation and exploitation free supply chains.

Since the Group’s 2019 progress report, our members have continued to make effective changes to their supply chains through collaboration, innovation, and determination to exclude conventional, non-certified palm oil from their supply chains, and discontinue reliance on RSPO Credits based assurance.

In some areas this has been a challenge, as each RMWG member has developed a strong response and solutions to complex sourcing challenges. L’Oréal continues to champion the availability of RSPO-certified derivates in partnership with key supply chain actors and have made strides in converting conventional to mass balance certified derivatives; UK soap manufacturer Stephenson has achieved 100% segregated certified PO, PKO and fractions, including 10% POIG verified PO; Since setting up a dedicated segregated supply chain in the US in December of 2020, Danone now sources 97% of all its palm oil materials including fractions and derivatives from segregated RSPO-certified sources, and 99.6% of Ferrero’s palm oil fractions is certified segregated, including almost 10% POIG verified palm oil fractions.

Download the report here to learn more about the progress of our journey so far.

SEARRP joins the Palm Oil Innovation Group

SEARPP has formally joined the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) as a member, and has committed to contributing to the goals and initiatives led by POIG.

Established by the Royal Society in 1985, the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) facilitates world-class scientific research that addresses the major environmental issues facing the tropics: sustainable plantation management and development, habitat restoration, and climate change.

Through a dedicated team which focusses on the delivery of impact, and long-standing links with government, forest and plantation companies and NGOs, SEARRP works hard to ensure that key research findings make a direct contribution to policy and best practice.

As a POIG member, SEARPP is working to find solutions to the challenges faced by the palm oil industry. SEARPP supports using responsible palm oil as a means for driving transformation in the palm oil industry so that it benefits both nature and people. SEARRP is excited to be a member of POIG and looks forward to working together to improve sustainable plantation development.

Visit their website to learn more about SEARRP.


By updating targets outlined in 2013 to generate environmental, economic and social benefits across the Ferrero palm oil value chain, the new Charter addresses challenges with actions that engage suppliers and go beyond high certification standards.

Luxembourg (June 3rd, 2021) – Ahead of World Environment Day on June 5th, Ferrero Group proudly unveils its new Palm Oil Charter, in which the company outlines its ongoing ambition to achieve a palm oil industry that is good for both people and nature. Originally announced in 2013, the first Palm Oil Charter served as a driver for the Group’s development of its responsible palm oil supply chain; a public commitment that took into consideration the company’s core values and its broader sustainability strategy. Today, Ferrero further strengthens its commitments and progress through an updated Charter, which has been elevated based on the company’s ongoing learning journey and insights generated by close collaboration with stakeholders at every level, from suppliers to NGOs through to academic partners. The new Charter has been developed with Earthworm Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on positively improving value chains.

As a baseline, Ferrero sources sustainable palm oil that is 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) Certified Segregated and traceable back to plantations: a goal initially reached in 2015, becoming one of the first global companies to do so. Ferrero’s approach towards responsible sourcing of palm oil goes beyond this high certification standard through active membership in POIG (Palm Oil Innovation Group) and HCSA (High Carbon Stock Approach), two of the highest value endorsement initiatives currently available for the industry. As part of this approach, the new Charter outlines further actions, tackling three strategic areas identified as critical in an intricate industry where environmental and social issues are oftentimes deeply rooted, complex, and interconnected:

Human Rights & Social Practices: We at Ferrero believe in the importance of building a more equitable and inclusive palm oil value chain, requiring our suppliers to take appropriate measures to prevent any form of exploitation, indecent living or working conditions. We are going beyond these essential rights by helping smallholders build resilience in the face of environmental and economic volatility – as well as improved working conditions – through the collaboration with local governments, NGOs and scientists. We also understand the importance that indigenous communities be fully engaged whenever agricultural land expansion may occur.

Environmental Protection & Sustainability:  We are dedicated to having a palm oil value chain that not only respects the environment, but also becomes a positive driver to regenerate biodiversity, soils, and water systems. Among the initiatives in this focus area, we commit to a “no-deforestation” supply chain which includes no planting on peat, no using fire to clear land, and ensuring the protection of forests and natural habitats. Going beyond this, we use the Starling Satellite Monitoring System to identify potential deforestation in the roughly one million hectares of our supply chain.

Supplier transparency: We address the above issues by fostering a fully transparent, shared responsibility approach across the value chain, as well as requiring all suppliers to adhere to the Group’s standards.  We do this by sharing the list of mills from which we source our palm oil every six months; the latest lists related to the second half of 2020 can be found here. We go beyond with actions such as publishing an action plan and a yearly progress report measured against the goals outlined in the Charter, as well as offering an “Integrity Helpline” to confidentially signal any potential grievances or instances of non-compliance.

Moreover, following recent acquisitions, Ferrero has welcomed new products into the Group’s extended family and is currently working to integrate them into the supply chain by bringing them up to the Company’s overall responsible palm oil sourcing standards.

Marco Gonçalves, Ferrero’s Chief Procurement & Hazelnut Company Officer said, “At Ferrero, we take a continuous improvement approach to our value chain and understand the environmental and societal challenges tied to the palm oil industry; this is why we proudly reaffirm our commitments to responsible palm oil sourcing through our new Charter. We look forward to continue our learning journey and go beyond high certification standards with concrete actions that contribute to a more sustainable industry.”

Bastien Sachet, Earthworm Foundation CEO added, “We welcome this updated charter for three reasons: Firstly, because it builds on a successful implementation of previous commitments and therefore it associates words to action. Secondly, Ferrero is demonstrating its commitment to driving environmental and social excellence linked to strong core values and long-term change. Finally, this Charter will inspire other companies to raise their own bar, as collective leverage and action remains critical to scale impact beyond one company’s supply chain.”

Within this framework and looking towards the future, Ferrero welcomes the European Commission’s upcoming proposals on Mandatory Due Diligence and new legislation to minimise the risk of deforestation and forest degradation linked to products distributed throughout the European Union. Ferrero believes that effective EU legislation is urgently needed to tackle these issues and establish a level playing field for more sustainable ingredients. In fact, through a public statement signed by more than 40 companies, on May 25th 2021, Ferrero extended support for an effective EU law that will address EU-driven global deforestation.

“Our new Palm Oil Charter is an example of Ferrero’s commitment and actions towards responsible palm oil sourcing. But sector-wide change is needed. In this spirit, we believe that proper EU rules applicable to all relevant companies – coupled with the right cooperation framework with producing countries – can be a game-changer in driving palm oil supply chain systemic transformation, as well as preventing negative environmental and human rights impacts,” said Francesco Tramontin, Vice-President, Ferrero Group Public Policy Center and EU Institutional Affairs.

The full 2021 Ferrero Group Palm Oil Charter can be found on the company’s corporate website, here.


About Ferrero Group

Ferrero began its story in the little town of Alba in Piedmont, Italy, in 1946. Today, with a consolidated turnover of over 12.3 billion euros, Ferrero is amongst the market leaders of the Sweet Packaged Foods market worldwide.

The Ferrero Group is present throughout the world with more than 37,000 people and 31 production plants. Ferrero is the producer of many brand icons that are loved generation after generation, including Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tac, Kinder and Raffaello, which are present and sold in more than 170 countries.

For further information visit: and

Breaking through the supply chain: How the manufacturers in the Palm Oil Innovation Group lead new approaches to palm oil sourcing

Download Palm Oil Innovations: Breaking through the supply chain.

POIG’s Retailer and Manufacturer Working Group (RMWG) was established in 2015 to provide a constructive space for responsible brands to inspire each other and to offer support and guidance on how to increase sourcing of traceable and responsible palm oil.

Originally guided by the general principles set out in the POIG Charter for Retailers and Manufacturers, the members felt that measurable and ambitious targets were critical if POIG wanted to see real change in uptake of responsible palm oil. The POIG Retailers and Manufacturers Charter indicators were launched in 2018, and set a very ambitious bar for retailer and manufacturer members to work towards a fully RSPO Segregated certified and POIG-verified supply chain and eliminate credits based sourcing.

Each RMWG member has developed a strong response and solutions to complex sourcing challenges. L’Oréal has co-founded an initiative to address the difficulties in sourcing certified derivatives; Despite its limited market power, UK soap manufacturer Stephenson has achieved 100% segregated CPO, PKO and fractions, including 7% POIG verified CPO; Danone has built a dedicated segregated supply chain in the US for CPO and PKO, and Ferrero has successfully converted its large volume of palm oil fractions to segregated sources globally as at end of 2019.

As at year-end 2019, POIG’s members had achieved an impressive 68% segregated, including 4% POIG verified palm oil products. 25% mass balance was primarily PKO, and in transition to segregated by year end 2020.

POIG members among those leading the way of WWF Palm Oil Buyer Scorecard 2020

Ferrero and L’Oreal, POIG members assessed by the Scorecard ranked first and second respectively under the manufacturing sector, setting benchmarks in supply chain innovations for companies to follow.

WWF’s palm oil scorecard reveals that most brands are falling short when it comes to supporting sustainable palm oil production and tackling tropical deforestation. In the recently released Palm Oil Buyer Scorecard, no company has attained the top score in WWF’s new assessment, which reviews what global brands are doing to reduce adverse impacts caused by the unsustainable sourcing of the most popular vegetable oil from vulnerable tropical habitats.

Despite many long-standing commitments by brands and industry coalitions to eliminate the destruction of nature, including deforestation, from their palm oil supply chains, the scorecard shows that most companies still have a long way to go before they can prove to consumers that they are delivering on these promises. Meanwhile, only one company, the consumer goods manufacturer Ferrero, has scored over 20 points (out of the maximum 22), sending an encouraging signal to the rest of the industry that sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil is achievable. The remaining POIG members that were assessed, including Danone and Barry Callebaut, all scored well above the overall average of the manufacturing sector.

In this fifth edition of a decade-long series, the new WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard examines 173 major retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and food service companies from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.  As we enter 2020 and a new decade, the Scorecard has reset the bar for companies with the expectation that they take commensurate, accelerated action in response to the planet’s escalating environmental and climate challenges.

Expanding on its previous Scorecards, WWF measured not only how companies performed on basic steps such as using 100% sustainable palm oil in their own supply chains, but also additional actions that prove a company is truly acting responsibly. This includes actions to protect and positively benefit smallholders, communities and biodiversity on the ground in the landscapes most at risk from irresponsible palm oil expansion.

“Given the challenges faced by our planet today, coupled with the devastating effect that unsustainable palm oil has had, companies need to do more than simply reduce their own supply chain risk,” said WWF Palm Oil Lead Elizabeth Clarke. “It is essential that companies take action, and in this Scorecard WWF recognises the importance of action-orientated platforms such as POIG and the willingness of its members to support sustainable palm oil.”

POIG members recently agreed to a new set of indicators for its Retailers & Manufacturers members that sets stringent requirements for the procurement of sustainable and responsible palm oil. They have come together to help find solutions to the challenges the palm oil industry is facing and to contribute to the transformation of the way palm oil is produced.

“Already in 2015, we were one of the first companies to source 100% certified as segregated palm oil. Moving forward, we recognized the need to support projects which go beyond certification to broaden sustainability standards in the industry. We very much appreciate that our efforts are being recognized by WWF, who is a very important stakeholder in driving the sustainability of the whole palm oil sector,” said a Ferrero spokesperson. “This a great encouragement to continue our journey.”