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Grocery giants join fight against deforestation for palm oil, soy planting

Deforestation in Malaysia for palm oil plantations
Deforestation in Malaysia to make room for palm oil plantations

Seventeen of the world’s largest consumer goods retailers and manufacturers have formed a coalition to eliminate deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from the key commodity supply chains of palm oil, soy, and paper, pulp and fibre-based packaging.

The initiative, called the Forest Positive Coalition of Action, was led by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and launched as part of Climate Week 2020.

The companies have promised to work together and use their collective voice to accelerate systemic efforts to protect natural forests from further degradation and conversion and drive transformative change across the industry.  

Retailers in the group include Carrefour, Tesco, Sainsbury and Walmart.

The coalition, led by the respective company CEOs and co-sponsored at the CGF Board level by Carrefour and Mars Incorporated, brings the world’s largest consumer goods brands together with a collective market value of US$1.8 trillion. 

Grant Reid, president & CEO, Mars and CGF Board co-sponsor of the Forest Positive Coalition, believes forest protection is a driver of economic growth, not a sacrifice to growth. 

“Forest protection provides healthy ecosystems and supports productive landscapes and resilient communities. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, we must ensure that efforts to protect forests are part of the global response. This response requires all actors with an interest in ending deforestation and who are committed to being part of the solution to come together”.

The Forest Positive Coalition for Action members are:

  • Carrefour 
  • Colgate-Palmolive 
  • Danone 
  • Essity 
  • General Mills 
  • Grupo Bimbo 
  • Jeronimo Martins
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • Metro AG 
  • Mondelez International 
  • Nestle 
  • P&G 
  • PepsiCo 
  • Sainsbury’s 
  • Tesco 
  • Unilever 
  • Walmart

Members of the coalition plan to work constructively with governments – both in producer nations and importing nations – to encourage them to put in place practical measures to support a forest positive future. 

Indonesia and Malaysia are among the nations with the worst records in deforestation to expand palm oil plantations.

Wai-Chan Chan, MD at The Consumer Goods Forum says deforestation continues to be a critical issue facing our planet today. 

“Our event at New York Climate Week will showcase exactly how our coalition is committed to on-the-ground actions that deliver impact at scale and will explain how we intend to be successful. We are also bringing a variety of voices to the table to ensure we engage from the get-go and effectively listen to the concerns of those fighting to mainstream the issue of deforestation and who support nature-based, innovative solutions. We are in this fight together.”

At Climate Week 2020, members of the coalition, UK and Indonesia government representatives and the Tropical Forest Alliance are meeting to discuss and take questions from the public on the coalition.

The Consumer Goods Forum is a global, parity-based industry network which aims to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serve the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries. 

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