Kellogg's change palm oil process after sisters' petition

Kellogg's change palm oil process after sisters' petition

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:49am 21st February 2020.

Kellogg's are changing their policy around palm oil after a petition by two sisters from Leighton Buzzard.

Asha and Jia Kirkpatrick, aged 12 and 10, created the petition in 2018. 

The girls were moved after watching a documentary about the deforestation and the orangutans that are being killed or orphaned for the popular ingredient.

After hundreds of thousands of people sign their petition, Kellogg's have announced a change in their policy.

Gia, 10, is happy with the progress:

"Well, we finally feel like something has actually happened.

"For the past few years when we've done it there's not been much progress, but we finally feel like something has happened."

Palm Oil is a common ingredient, found in a lot of house hold products from toothpaste to packaged bread. 

Because it is so common, there is a demand to produce high quantities in an often unsustainable method.

According to Greenpeace, 25 orangutans die each day because of deforestation related to palm oil companies.

Their mother Harvinder Dhinsa says they returned from holiday to find it had jumped from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand

She says Kellogg's started to pay attention as it gained momentum:

"They have listened and treated the girls with respect and not tried to gloss over it. 

"Its coincided with the Fridays for the Future strikes, Greta Thunberg and those horrendous fires in Australia. I think it has made people stop and think if each of us does one thing differently we can make a difference."

Kellogg's has made a pledge to change its policy, which includes several things:

  • Work with smallholders to improve productivity.
  • A live tracker to see if suppliers are not following the policy.
  • Invest in reforesting to replace some of the forest they have removed.

Asha, 12, says they're not done with campaigning though:

"We are going to make sure Kellogg's keep their promise and do what they say they are going to do. 

"Maybe next we might target Nestle or someone similar because they also use palm oil."

For now, the girls are hoping to get the petition to 1 million signatures, to show Kellogg's how serious they need to be about sticking to their pledge.

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