Target: Richard K. Smucker, CEO of J.M. Smucker’s (parent brand to Jif)
Goal: Stop the use of palm oil in Jif products to protect animal habitat and the environment
Endangered orangutans and tigers continue to suffer at the hand of the palm oil industry. Rampant deforestation, forest fires, and peatland destruction are quickly eliminating the homes of these precious creatures and contributing to climate change. Some companies have made efforts to appear more environmentally friendly by joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which had its first official meeting in 2003. This organization purports to work in the name of habitat conservation and sustainable palm oil production, but in reality the RSPO continues to permit and support destruction and unsustainable practices.
To ward off questions about palm oil use, some companies indicate membership in the RSPO or just tell their customers that they are “committed to working with only suppliers that are responsible and share the same commitment to quality and ethics” of that brand. This was the vague response by Jif, America’s largest peanut butter brand, to a consumer question about palm oil sourcing. Whether a part of the RSPO or “committed” to sustainably sourced palm oil, the truth of the matter is that current practices in the palm oil industry are not sustainable and lead to massive environmental destruction.
Jif’s line of “natural” peanut butters, including the flavors Natural Creamy, Natural Creamy Honey, Natural Crunchy, and Natural Crunchy Honey all contain palm oil. With more and more health-conscious Americans, the demand for “natural” food is increasing. Thus, with every purchase of this “natural” peanut butter, habitat loss and environmental destruction continue to spread. Until palm oil can actually be sourced sustainably, the use of it in products means that ravaging of natural landscapes and the death of endangered animals will continue. Jif does not need to use palm oil in its products. If it can make other peanut butters without palm oil, surely it can find a way to make its line of “natural” peanut butters without palm oil too. Tell Jif to stop the use of palm oil in its products.
Dear Mr. Smucker,
Palm oil is receiving more and more negative press for its costly effects on the environment. Your company indicates that it is committed to working with responsible and ethical suppliers; however, even the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is seen by many big companies as the answer to the palm oil debacle, cannot guarantee that palm oil is sourced from sustainable farms and that deforestation and destruction of habitat have not taken place.
As the CEO of J.M. Smucker’s company, the parent company of Jif, you have the authority to reevaluate and call for an elimination of palm oil in Jif peanut butter products. Much of your peanut butter does not include palm oil; however, the Natural Jif peanut butters all contain palm oil. I have faith that Jif, flourishing since 1958 when the original creamy peanut butter was introduced, alongside J.M. Smucker’s, a company “rooted in…quality, people, ethics, growth, and independence” can find an ethical alternative to the use of palm oil in peanut butter. I would also hope that while looking at Jif products, you also take a look at the use of palm oil in the products of other brands under your control. Be an environmentally conscious leader committed to growing in a sustainable way. Stop the use of palm oil in Jif products.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Elizabeth via Wikimedia Commons