KFC recently uploaded a new statement to their website called “Sustainable Sourcing and Waste Recovery”. It looked like this could – if properly taken further – be the start of KFC’s response to the campaign that has seen hundreds of thousands of people take action to tell KFC bosses to stop driving the destruction of rainforests.
It’s been a hard slog getting any sort of response from KFC. For two years now Greenpeace has attempted to engage the company. First, through letters, then by publishing an investigation into their supply chain, and finally with the launch of a public campaign. So far nobody from KFC’s HQ has yet responded with details about how the company will address the issues we have raised.
Some aspects of this latest statement demonstrates that KFC is at least listening. But, until it provides much more detail to its tens of millions of customers as well as to its shareholders, about whether it will commit to a global deforestation policy, it is difficult to know whether KFC’s words are just ‘salad dressing’ or the real ‘nuggets’ the forests and tigers need. For instance, will KFC rule out the use of commodities produced by companies like Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) who continue to destroy rainforests and tiger habitat?
Novak has a track record of ignoring environmental issues. At the Yum! 2012 AGM Novak, in front of his Board members and shareholders, promised a meeting to another NGO campaigning on this same issue. A few days before this meeting was to take place Yum! informed the NGO that it could not see the value in a meeting.
Novak is also reticent to take action on other commodities linked to deforestation, such as palm oil. This is despite the fact that at the 2011 AGM more than a third of shareholders voted in favour of Yum adopting sustainable palm oil commitments that would put Yum! on a par with other food companies like McDonald’s.
Novak is a self-styled leadership guru often found on the road promoting his book ‘Taking people with you – the only way to make big things happen”. Yet how can Novak claim to be a 21stCentury leader when he is closing the door on critics and failing to deal with important sustainability issues?
KFC has started to show some interest so now’s the time to ask KFC’s Board of Directors to convince CEO, David Novak, to cut rainforest destruction out of KFC products for good.