Cadbury Destroys 25,000 Hectares Of Orangutan Habitat, Says Report

Mondelez International, which owns the chocolate giant, uses palm oil in many of its best-known products, including Oreo cookies, and Ritz crackers
An orangutan
Orangutans are facing a crisis due to habitat loss (Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/Greenpeace)

Food giant Mondelez is responsible for the destruction of 70,000 hectares of rainforest including 25,000 hectares of orangutan habitat in Indonesia, according to a report by Greenpeace.

The company uses palm oil in many of its best-known products, including Cadbury chocolate bars, Oreo cookies, and Ritz crackers.

According to Greenpeace, 22 of Mondelez's palm oil suppliers cleared over 70,000 hectares of rainforest between 2015 and 2017. Palm oil suppliers to Mondelez have also been accused of child labor, exploitation of workers, illegal deforestation, forest fires and land grabbing.


"It's outrageous that despite promising to clean up its palm oil almost 10 years ago, Mondelez is still trading with forest destroyers," Kiki Taufik, Head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia's Indonesia forests campaign, said.

"Palm oil can be made without destroying forests, yet our investigation discovered that Mondelez suppliers are still trashing forests and wrecking orangutan habitat, pushing these beautiful and intelligent creatures to the brink of extinction.

"They're literally dying for a biscuit."

Iceland's anti-palm oil advert highlights the plight of orangutans

Wake-up call

"Mondelez's new tagline, revealed in September, is 'snacking made right', but there's nothing right about palm oil produced by killing orangutans and fuelling climate change," Richard George, Greenpeace UK Forests Campaigner, added.

"This must be a wake- up call to Mondelez and other household brands to take action, starting with cutting off the dirtiest palm oil trader of all, Wilmar, until it can prove its palm oil is clean.

"Ultimately, if big brands can't find enough clean palm oil to make their products, they need use less."

Traceable palm oil

According to a statement by Mondelez International, the company is 'committed to eradicating deforestation in the palm oil supply', and is 'actively working with suppliers to ensure palm oil is fully traceable'.

"We're calling on our suppliers to further map and monitor the plantations where oil is grown so we can drive further traceability," it added. "We're excluding 12 upstream suppliers from our supply chain who have not met our standards.

"For many years we have been calling for 100 percent sustainable and we're making good progress on our palm oil action plan."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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