Bravo! The industry consumer good giant, Unilever, has decided enough is enough when it comes to socio-environmental, regulatory and economic risks throughout the palm oil supply chain (see you can’t outsource your responsibilities). Unilever plans to release all of the details of its palm oil supply chain in order to ensure greater accountability for deforestation, animal and human rights abuse, greenhouse gas emissions, and financial inequities.
According to a recent post in Metro UK (thank you Ashitha Nagesh), “Marc Engel, Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, said the company hoped sharing the location of more than 1,400 mills and 300 direct suppliers of the oil would spark an industry-wide movement towards supply chain transparency”.
On the surface, the initial move will illuminate then address many of the previously described risks (as it did with those mining conflict minerals). However, as consumer, regulatory and social pressure increase others will find it necessary to mimic Unilever’s actions. The investment community will be excited by this change since further disclosure will lead to a more precise, aggregate view of the consumer product industry value chain activities, participants, and key dependencies. A revelation of this nature could reveal significant opportunities for the investment community including mergers, acquisitions, and industry consolidation (as well as bad behaviors). Stay tuned!
AFTER THE ORIGINAL POST…
Came across this excellent article posted on Richard Branson’s Virgin site about the “real cost of illegally produced palm oil”. Worth the read!