Unilever and Magnum: we may want ice cream, but not if it contains conflict palm oil.

Unilever and Magnum: we may want ice cream, but not if it contains conflict palm oil.

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“Release the Beast” is Magnum ice cream’s new advertising slogan -- ironic since the ice cream brand’s parent company can't guarantee that its products are not driving the slashing and burning of rainforests, putting endangered species to the brink of extinction, or trapping plantation workers in modern slavery.

Magnum ice cream bars are made by Unilever, the world’s third largest consumer goods company, and an owner of 400 brands. This one company alone is responsible for 8% of global palm oil production, putting the vegetable oil in its ice creams, soaps, and spreads.

Unilever was one of the first big corporations to recognize the need for change in the palm oil industry, but has not yet delivered real change on the forest frontlines of Indonesia. There is no way to be certain if the palm oil used in Unilever’s ice cream is free of deforestation and abuses.

Magnum knows that as we enter the summer season, we’re going to want more ice cream (at least, I will!). It’s capitalising on this with its new “Release the Beast” ad campaign, featuring model and tv star Kendall Jenner as its face.

Let’s tell Magnum that its ad campaign isn’t working -- we may want ice cream, but not if it is linked to the loss of forests and abuse of communities or workers. 

Magnum currently sells 1 billion ice cream bars around the world every year. That number will be under threat as word spreads about the ice cream’s ongoing connection to dodgy suppliers that engage in deforestation, labour rights abuses and land grabbing.

There are steps that Magnum’s parent company, Unilever, can take to fix this. Recently, Unilever cut ties with its dodgy supplier -- IOI Group. This is a positive first step, but more needs to be done to rid its supply chain of deforestation and abuse.

It must step up its efforts to cut dodgy suppliers and publish a plan laying out exactly how and when it will end the forest destruction and human rights abuses across its supply chain before more forests fall and more lives are broken.

Tell Magnum & Unilever to take real action now -- we may want ice cream, but not if it contains conflict palm oil. 

The stakes could not be higher. Deforestation has made Indonesia the fourth largest carbon emitter on the planet. And while the planet loses precious carbon-storing peatlands and forests, orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and other endangered species are losing their homes. Workers have their passports stolen and sometimes don’t even receive a salary at all, trapped in slave-like conditions.

But, thanks to SumOfUs members and our partners, there’s been a huge shift in the global palm oil supply chain over the past few years. We’ve taken on some of the world’s biggest consumer companies on palm oil -- and won! We pushed Starbucks, McDonald's and KFC to adopt responsible palm oil policies and commit to ending deforestation in their supply chains. And we got PepsiCo to introduce a palm oil commitment, which we’re campaigning hard to improve.

Now we have our sights set on delivering real change on the ground in Unilever’s supply chain. Stand with us and demand that your ice cream is conflict-free.

Tell Magnum & Unilever to take real action and now -- we may want ice cream, but not if it contains conflict palm oil.

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