Indonesia leading the way in KFC’s response to deforestation

Greenpeace: Blogpost by Rolf Skar: July 10 2012

Still no news from KFC headquarters in the US despite the fact it’s been six weeks since Greenpeace International exposed the company’s links to rainforest deforestation.

But while KFC bosses in Kentucky remain silent on whether it will cut forest destruction out of its supply chain globally, it looks like one country has gotten tired of waiting for headquarters to respond to our campaign.

Following a first meeting between KFC Indonesia and Greenpeace, KFC Indonesia has issued a statement to address the issues of deforestation in its supply chain and declared its decision to suspend purchases from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) at this time.

This is a welcome start and comes off the back of Greenpeace protests in some of Indonesia’s biggest cities which has helped capture the attention of both the Indonesian public and media. This is in addition to the more than 180,000 actions taken by people like you to help tell
KFC to drop deforestation.

Thanks for your help so far, but of course there is still a long way to go until we can be sure that the company will take real action to buy products such as packaging in a more responsible way. However what this news does demonstrate is that KFC is able to act, if the will is there.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that KFC Indonesia has been the first to move; the Sumatran tiger is an animal of great importance to Indonesians and the news that its habitat is being lost for the sake of products like fast food packaging is shocking news to KFC’s customers.

But with KFC operating in more than 100 countries, and evidence of KFC using rainforests to make packaging in other major markets, KFC’s deforestation problems are not just linked to the company’s outlets in Indonesia.

That is why Greenpeace will continue to call on KFC and its parent company Yum! to introduce a global policy to tackle deforestation; only then can customers be sure that buying from one of KFC’s 15,000+ stores isn’t leading to the loss of more rainforest and tiger habitat.

Clearly times are changing. In his era the Colonel was famous for being an American success story and founding a company with honest family values and a dedication for high standards. Fast forward to the 21st Century and the progressive elements of the KFC brand, which
appear to understand the importance of sustainability, are not in Kentucky, but in emerging markets like Indonesia.

KFC’s head honchos in Kentucky should be embarrassed by their lack of leadership – now is the time for them to act – and until that happens please help by joining the revolt to stop KFC turning rainforests into trash.

Rolf Skar is Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace US


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