General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive and Mars have committed to buying ‘zero deforestation’ commodities – such as pulp and paper, palm oil and soya – by 2020. Colgate-Palmolive also announced a new policy to implement palm oil traceability by 2015.
Their moves have been followed by a surge in ambition to decouple the use of forest produce from deforestation. The Consumer Goods Forum, representing 400 global brands such as L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever, has committed to help members “achieve zero net deforestation” in their supply chains by 2020.
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Implementing the policies will demand both traceability and changes in growing practice. The need for stronger relationships between buyers and producers could lead to a rise in bilateral trade agreements.