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Palm oil kernels on a board, with one palm oil kernel cut in half

Agricultural raw materials

Average read time: 4 minutes

We have consolidated our reporting on the key agricultural raw materials that we depend.

This page includes data on the sustainable sourcing of our agricultural raw materials, our transparency and traceability initiatives, and our sustainable and regenerative sourcing policies.

Performance data

We have been measuring sustainable sourcing of our key agricultural crops for a number of years. And we remain committed to sourcing 100% of our key agricultural crops sustainability. Here we provide our performance since 2015:

Transparency and traceability

Supply chain transparency and traceability helps us to identify and monitor our supply chain –driving continuous improvement within our own organisation, with our suppliers and further upstream to the location of supply. We believe that combining certification efforts with focused sourcing, traceability and technology to enable smallholder inclusion will help us achieve our goal of a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023.

Traceability in our supply chain

We want to know exactly where our crops are grown. Transparency in supply chains allows issues to be more easily remediated, which is why we have now published our supply lists for:

Commodity

Supplier list

Primary processing list

Palm oil

Tier-1 palm oil suppliers (PDF 283KB)

[To follow]

Soy

Soybean suppliers (PDF 111KB)

[To follow]

Paper and board

Paper and board suppliers (PDF 144KB)

[To follow]

Cocoa

Cocoa suppliers (direct sourcing) (PDF 120KB)

[To follow]

Tea

Tea suppliers (PDF 493KB)

Not applicable (no primary processing units in our tea supply chain)

Mapping our forest footprint

We believe we’ll make greater progress towards industry-wide transformation by sharing the information we have.

Mapping and tracking are helping us get to know our supply chain. We’re conducting a forest footprint mapping exercise (PDF 12.38MB) of our palm oil supply chain. This is an important step to gaining even more accurate visibility of our sourcing locations.

Through a combination of supplier information, concession boundaries and landbanks, indicative sourcing algorithms, deforestation alerts, biodiversity and carbon layers, and social indicators, we aim to achieve an unprecedented view of our sourcing that helps prevent and address any potential risks.

Transparent grievance management

Transparency is a key element of our approach to protect and regenerate nature. Greater scrutiny of our supply chains helps us work more effectively with partners and suppliers to bring about positive change. We believe that being open and transparent about the partners we do not want to work with is key to achieving a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023.

Our Grievance Procedure for Sustainable Palm Oil (PDF 1.01MB) provides a framework for handling, investigating and resolving both social and environmental issues within our palm oil supply chain in a timely, transparent and effective manner. Since January 2019 we’ve maintained a public list of palm oil grievances – see our Palm Oil Grievance Tracker (PDF 866KB). If you have a palm oil grievance, you can email us at palmoil.grievances@unilever.com.

We’ll often involve an independent organisation to collate further information and outline the requirements that the supplier must adhere to. We’ve found that it’s better to work with suppliers to help improve practices and resolve issues. However, we’ll take appropriate action consistent with our policy against suppliers who are unwilling or unable to comply.

In 2020 we took another step towards transparency by introducing a public list of suspended direct palm oil suppliers or indirect oil palm growers due to grievances brought to our attention alleging non-compliance against our People & Nature Policy (PDF 2.04MB) and/or our Responsible Sourcing Policy (PDF 8.25MB) or due to the fact that it could not be confirmed that these companies were in compliance with our policy at a group level.

Regenerative Project Registry

[To follow: short narrative here about regen project registry]

Policies and standards

Over many years we have developed standards and policies to help us manage a wide range of issues. Below are our most important raw material sustainability policies and standards: