Pizza Hut franchisee and unsustainable palm oil
Campaigners have learnt that one of Pizza Hut's largest international franchisees, Jardine Matheson, is responsible for what they say is massive destruction of rainforests and endangered elephant habitat.
The revelation comes just one month after campaigners from Sum of Us helped convince Yum! Brands, owner of Pizza Hut and KFC, to announce a policy to only buy 100% deforestation-free palm oil.
Jardine is a huge multinational conglomerate, and its Restaurant Group owns Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants all over Asia. Jardine also owns the Astra Agro Lestari palm oil company, which is driving deforestation in Indonesia.
Sum of Us is now asking Pizza Hut to honour its commitments and pressure Jardine Matheson to stop the deforestation.
On their website, Sum Of Say that "Pizza Hut cannot claim to be deforestation-free while its franchisees are cutting down the rainforest. If Pizza Hut doesn't act, it could contribute to the wiping out of one of the world's most intelligent, majestic creatures – the already endangered Sumatran Elephant."
Sumatran elephants live in the lush ecosystem of the Indonesian rainforest. This critically endangered species has long been under threat from habitat destruction and illegal poaching and now there are only estimated to be 3000 Sumatran elephants left in the world.
Lack of commitments
Astra Agro Lestari manages over 280,000 hectares of palm oil plantations in Indonesia and campaigners claim its methods are "irresponsible".
It lags behind its competitors on both forest conservation and human rights - the company has set up plantations on top of the customary lands of the indigenous Orang Rimba community in the Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia, leaving them in precarious circumstances.
Astra Agro Lestari's clearing of ultra-carbon rich peatlands has already released over two million tons of carbon into our already fragile climate—the equivalent of 830,000 cars.
Many other major palm oil companies have committed to end their deforestation and are aligned in calling on the Indonesian government to enact laws that protect forests. However campaigners say that people connected to Astra Agro Lestari have been actively standing in the way of progress on the issue.
An Astra Director is also the Chairman of the powerful Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association, GAPKI, which has been lobbying the government to allow companies to continue cutting down the forest.
Read more about Pizza Hut in our guide to restaurants and more about KFC in our fast food guide.
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