Our commitment
to sustainable
palm oil





As a leading global agribusiness that serves vital needs for food and energy, Archer Daniels Midland Company is committed to the responsible, sustainable development of agriculture.

We believe that through innovation, investments in research and infrastructure, and partnerships among stakeholders along the agricultural value chain, agriculture can meet global needs while creating a better standard of living for growers and agricultural communities.

We are committed to doing our part to foster a sustainable palm oil chain. As ADM expands its participation in the growing global market for palm oil — a key ingredient in consumer products ranging from cookies and crackers to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals — we are working with stakeholders to help ensure that crops are cultivated and procured responsibly.

Our belief

ADM believes that all participants in the palm supply chain have obligations to promote good stewardship of the world’s cropland and to respect:

  • biodiversity and the environment, by refraining from expanding cropland into sensitive animal habitats and high-conservation-value forest land, and
  • human rights, by maintaining labor standards that prohibit worker exploitation and discrimination, and by helping to ensure that the land used for oil palm does not diminish tribes’ legal or customary rights without their free, prior and informed consent.
Our commitment

ADM will not knowingly source or purchase palm oil from illegally cleared land or palm oil that does not comply with local laws and regulations. If the RSPO finds that a supplier is not meeting its obligations under the RSPO Principles and Criteria, and if that supplier does not demonstrate a good-faith effort to address the issue in a timely manner, ADM will take appropriate action, up to and including exclusion of that supplier from new direct contracts.

Our actions
We strive to accelerate progress in these areas primarily through memberships, verifications and responsible actions.

We are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an international body composed of stakeholders from throughout the palm supply chain and other interested parties, including oil palm growers, oil processors, food and packaged-goods companies, NGOs, retailers of palm oil products and investors. The RSPO’s mission is to advance the production, procurement and use of sustainable oil-palm products through the development, implementation and verification of credible global standards.

In 2010, ADM verified that its European palm oil production facilities were in compliance with sustainable palm oil supply-chain standards set forth by the RSPO. These facilities have been audited by RSPO-endorsed certification bodies.

ADM participates in the palm oil marketplace primarily through our European processing operations. We also hold a minority ownership stake in a leading Asian agribusiness active in palm. 

In 2011, we announced a sustainable palm oil production and processing venture in Pará, Brazil – an investment developed in cooperation with local farmers and the Brazilian government. This operation will encompass approximately 12,000 hectares of oil palm plantation land, 6,000 of which will be owned and operated by about 600 family farmers. ADM will provide these farmers with technical assistance focused on sustainable agricultural practices. We expect our investment to provide higher farm incomes, which will benefit some 3,000 local residents.

Our products

ADM is addressing customer demand for sustainable palm oil in three ways:

  • We have entered into long-term supply agreements to secure our access to RSPO-certified product.
  • We buy and sell mass balance palm oil, as well as segregated palm oil. Under the mass balance system, RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil is mixed with oil from other sources. This practice enables supply chain participants to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable palm oil production and to actively promote the trading of RSPO-certified palm oil. Mass balance palm oil products may be labeled with the claim: “Supports the production of RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.” ADM can also offer customers various palm oil derivatives and fractions derived from mass balance product.
  • We are registered in the GreenPalm.org certificate system. ADM can work with GreenPalm.org to obtain RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil under the “book and claim” system, in which the small number of currently certified growers offer their product for sale through this online trading portal.
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