Kellogg Co. says it will buy palm oil only from companies that don’t destroy tropical rain forests to produce it.
The Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal giant says it will require suppliers to trace their palm oil to plantations that have been independently verified as complying with the law and meeting standards for protecting the environment and human rights.
The policy was announced last week and sets a compliance deadline of Dec. 31, 2015.
Palm oil is added to many processed foods. Environmental groups have long pressured the industry not to deal with companies that clear rain forests for plantations, destroying habitat for endangered species such as orangutans and the Sumatran tiger.
Activist groups that staged a rally about the issue at Kellogg’s headquarters in November praised the company’s announcement.