Category Archives: RMWG

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.


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.

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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.”

POIG raises the bar for retailers & Manufacturers members

The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) has agreed a new set of indicators for its Retailers & Manufacturers (RM) members, setting our stringent requirements for the procurement of sustainable and responsible palm oil.

The POIG Charter for RM, launched in 2015 , set out the obligation to work towards increasing uptake of POIG verified and RSPO SG palm oil products and to eliminate the use of conventional and certificate-based palm oil. The indicators provide additional guidance and mandate ambition targets and workplans to achieve this. The new indicators also provide guidelines for transparency on suppliers and grievance procedures aligned with best-in-class practice in the industry.

The POIG RM Indicators is an extension of the work the group has been doing since 2013, trialling ways to improve the RSPO P&C. POIG recognises the 2018 P&C as a significant leap forward, and we are now focusing on action to ensure that the implementation of the new P&C is robust and credible, and that the downstream supply chain lives up to their purchasing commitments.

Click here to download the POIG Retailers and Manufacturers Charter Indicators

Leading brands, progressive palm oil producers and NGOs confirm deforestation-free palm oil is available to European market

Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) urges Iceland grocery store chain to join the group, build a more responsible palm oil industry

The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), in response to recent news reports of the UK-based grocery store chain Iceland’s decision to ban palm oil in its branded products, confirms that it does now offer deforestation- and exploitation-free palm oil to the global market, and encourages Iceland to join its members in building a truly responsible palm oil industry.

Iceland’s move highlights the palm oil industry’s inability to deliver responsible palm oil, as current palm oil certification schemes have not yet guaranteed palm oil that is deforestation-free, not planted on peat and not produced through the exploitation of workers and communities. To meet the growing demand for a higher standard, POIG formed as a multi-stakeholder forum of global NGOs, consumer goods manufacturers and progressive palm oil companies. The group issued the following responses to the recent news:

“The POIG shares Iceland’s concerns. To address the social and environmental impacts of irresponsible palm oil production, we recommend that retailers and manufactures demand traceable, transparent and third party verified responsible palm oil. Eliminating palm oil is not the solution to deforestation, as this risks simply shifting the problem to other regions,” said Gemma Tillack, Forest Policy Director for Rainforest Action Network (RAN).

“Palm oil can, and should be, produced in a way that that ensures human rights, including the rights of workers and local communities, are respected and palm oil is produced without destroying rainforests and peatlands. The POIG is the only multi-stakeholder initiative that currently demonstrates best practice in the palm oil sector and sets a credible and verifiable benchmark that builds upon the valuable work of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). To truly make an impact and show leadership in the palm oil space, companies like Iceland should join POIG and purchase POIG verified oil, which is available right now,“ said Matthias Diemer, Co-chair of the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG).

“With this decision, Iceland loses the opportunity to actually contribute to the protection of environment and human rights, because isolating themselves from collective efforts will not help to solve palm oil supply chain sustainability issues. Yet, the real impact of such a decision is unknown, since there is no reliable and transparent traceability system in place for alternatives to palm oil,” said Tulio Dias, Corporate Sustainability Manager of Agropalma, a Brazilian palm oil company and founding member of POIG.

“Additionally, due to vastly inferior yields, alternatives to palm oil may present increased threats to ecosystems and biodiversity,” said Michelle Desilets, Executive Director of Orangutan Land Trust.

“Only a concerted effort by all concerned stakeholders will transform the situation on the ground where palm oil is produced. We firmly believe that only proactive engagement will yield practical results,” said Laura Roth, Sustainability Manager, Americas of Barry Callebaut.

The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) would welcome Iceland to join as a member if the company was committed to playing a proactive role in creating transparent and responsible supply chains and breaking the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peatlands, the exploitation of communities and workers, and climate change.

To download the full statement, click here.

Emma Rae Lierley, Rainforest Action Network, emma(at), +1 425 281 1989
Matthias Diemer, Co-Chair of Palm Oil Innovation Group, Matthias.Diemer(at)
Tulio Dias, Agropalma, tuliodias(at)

Amid EU Palm Oil Bill Debate, New Members Join Leading Initiative to Reform Palm Oil Industry

The Palm Oil Innovation Group welcomes major global companies L’Oréal and Barry Callebaut

London – Today, the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) announced that global companies L’Oréal and Barry Callebaut are the newest members of the leading initiative for responsibly produced palm oil. These companies join others in POIG that have committed to stepping up efforts to drive the much-needed transformation of the palm oil sector. The announcement follows increasing debate on what single ‘No Deforestation’ and ‘No Exploitation’ standard will be adopted by the EU following the successful passage of the palm oil resolution in April 2017. Members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted in support of the introduction of a single certification scheme that will ensure all palm oil entering the EU market is not tied to deforestation or human rights violations.

Matthias Diemer, the Co-chair of the Palm Oil Innovation Group issued the following statement during the annual European meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO):

“The Palm Oil Innovation Group welcomes the commitment by L’Oréal and Barry Callebaut to innovate and join the ranks of the most responsible companies in the palm oil supply chain.”

“These new members will continue to support the transformation of the palm oil sector by demonstrating innovation to implement RSPO existing standards as well as additional critical requirements, such as ending deforestation, the development of peatlands and gross labour and human rights violations.”

L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, and Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut, the global leading supplier of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, have joined existing POIG members like Ferrero and Danone in their commitments to drive truly responsible palm oil production.

“With more innovators joining forces under POIG, we move closer to achieving POIG’s vision: a responsible supply chain 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,” concluded co-chair Matthias.

POIG was recently recognised by the European Parliament as a strong standard for responsible palm oil production. The EU palm oil resolution presents a great opportunity for RSPO and POIG members, especially at a time when the RSPO is considering strengthening its standards to incorporate no deforestation and no exploitation requirements outlined in the POIG Charter. The initiative was founded by Agropalma, DAABON, Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) in 2014 and remains the initiative that sets the highest benchmark for independently verified and truly responsible palm oil.

To download the full statement, click here.