After protracted Greenpeace campaign, KFC UK says it will no longer source from Asia Pulp & Paper

mongabay.com
October 31, 2012




Secondary rainforest in Indonesia

After months of pressure from Greenpeace on its alleged links to deforestation in Indonesia, KFC UK/Ireland has adopted a forest policy that excludes fiber sourced via conversion of tropical rainforests. The policy excludes suppliers like Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the Chinese/Indonesian forestry giant that has been the primary target of the Greenpeace campaign, but appears to apply only to Kentucky Fried Chicken operations in Britain and Ireland. (KFC-Indonesia suspended purchases from APP in July).

Greenpeace immediately applauded the decision and called on KFC's global parent, YUM! Brands, to also adopt the policy.

"KFC UK/I is just one of the 100+ countries that KFC, and their parent company Yum! Brands operate in," wrote Ian Duff in a post on Greenpeace's official blog. "We need to keep the pressure on bosses at Yum!’s HQ in the US so that they follow in KFC UK/I’s footsteps. They must introduce a global policy to rule out companies like APP who are actively involved in rainforest clearance."

Greenpeace is targeting APP for its forest management practices on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Greenpeace, along with other environmental groups and independent researchers, has accumulated substantial evidence linking APP and its suppliers to large-scale clearing of Sumatra's forests for pulp and paper production. Some of the areas APP has cleared and converted to industrial timber plantations include carbon-rich peatlands and critical habitat for endangered species, like the Sumatran tiger.

In its campaign to get APP to end natural forest clearance, Greenpeace has gone after a number of prominent companies, many of which have now dropped APP as a supplier. Greenpeace linked KFC to APP through a year long investigation that turned up evidence of rainforest fiber — known as mixed topical hardwood (MTH) — in KFC's packaging. Contrary to initial claims by APP, the MTH uncovered during lab tests was not found in layers containing recycled fiber, indicating it originated from natural forests. KFC UK/Ireland says it has now dropped APP as a supplier, according to BusinessGreen.

KFC UK/Ireland's new policy also commits the company to use as much recycled fiber as possible. In cases where virgin fiber is required — for "health safety" — KFC UK/Ireland says it will only use material from operations managed "in a sustainable fashion such that natural habitats are protected". All fiber suppliers must be certified under a third party standard and KFC UK/Ireland says it aims to move toward sourcing 100 percent its fiber from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified operations. The company has also committed to sourcing 100 percent of its palm oil from suppliers certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), another eco-standard.

"We regard sustainable procurement as important for all commodities," KFC UK/Ireland said in a statement.

KFC UK/Ireland's policy is another blow for APP, which has suffered from widespread customer defections and lost its accreditation under the FSC over the past five years. The paper giant however recently announced its own forest policy, which it says will reduce its reliance on natural forest fiber and improve its environmental performance going forward. In February, APP contracted The Forest Trust, an NGO, to assess its concessions for High Conservation Value Forest, which APP says it is now committed to protect. APP also recently retained lobbying powerhouse Covington & Burling LLP to help boost its image abroad, according to Politico.











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mongabay.com (October 31, 2012).

After protracted Greenpeace campaign, KFC UK says it will no longer source from Asia Pulp & Paper.

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