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Zero deforestation palm oil from Malaysia The Ferrero experience

The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia has resulted in widespread negative impacts on biodiversity, carbon-rich forests and peatlands (Gunarso et al. 2013; Koh et al. 2011). Consequently, consumer goods companies are facing pressure from academics, civil society and consumers to ensure and transparently demonstrate that their palm oil supply chain is free of deforestation and other negative environmental and social impacts. By 2015, companies controlling more than 90% of internationally traded palm oil had made voluntary commitments to sourcing only zero deforestation palm oil (Bregman et al. 2016).

Ferrero, a confectionery firm based in Italy, has been a leader of this movement, pledging in 2013 to source 100% of its palm oils from sources certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) “segregated” scheme by the end of 2015. This means that the 180,000 tonnes of certified palm oil used in Ferrero products, produced on approximately 50,000 ha of plantations, is kept
physically separated from “conventional” (uncertified) palm oil along the entire supply chain. This goal was achieved ahead of schedule in 2014, and since then Ferrero has put particular emphasis on grower-level traceability and the implementation of additional sustainability criteria. This resulted in the company’s Palm Oil Charter (Ferrero 2013), in which Ferrero committed to supplementary safeguards, including protecting high carbon stock forests and peatlands, high conservation value areas, human rights, and smallholder and worker interests.


Pirker, J., Toth, G., Mosnier, A., Giustarini, L., Pisetta, M., Austin, K. G., & Fritz, S. (2017). Zero deforestation palm oil from Malaysia: The Ferrero experience. In Zero deforestation: A commitment to change (Vol. 58). [4] (European Tropical Forest Research Network News). European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN).