Johnson & Johnson manufactures health care products and provides related services for the consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices markets. The Company sells products such as skin and hair care products, over-the-counter products, prescription pharmaceuticals, and surgical implants in countries around the world. Founded and still based in New Brunswick, NJ, USA, it is a publicly owned multinational with more than 260 operating companies in more than 60 countries, employing approximately 134,000 people. Johnson & Johnson estimates its palm oil footprint at 81,441 metric tons used to manufacture the ingredients it buys (ACOP 2017).
Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and Earthworm Foundation (formerly TFT) began working together in March 2014 with the aim of ensuring that Johnson & Johnson suppliers of oleo chemicals meet Johnson & Johnson’s Responsible Sourcing Criteria for palm oil. Earthworm and Johnson & Johnson initially worked intensively to strengthen the existing palm oil commitment. On May 1st, 2014, Johnson & Johnson announced its Palm Oil Responsible Sourcing Criteria, a ground breaking commitment for a buyer of oleo chemicals. Earthworm Foundation has since been supporting Johnson & Johnson by helping trace the origin of the Company’s palm oil, identify risk areas, and engage priority suppliers to implement the Sourcing Criteria. Through its Responsible Palm Oil Fund, Johnson & Johnson is investing in a range of on-the-ground projects that positively impact management practices in its palm oil supply.
An overall action plan is in place and progress is reported through Earthworm’s Transparency Hub. Building on years of foundational work, Johnson & Johnson is pressing to improve transparency in its supply chains, verify supplier conformance to its sourcing criteria, and take action in cases of non-conformance. Together with several other companies, Johnson & Johnson is investing in Earthworm Foundation’s High Impact Supplier programme, which is aimed at individual dialogue with non-conforming producers and development of case-by-case solutions to help these producers move into compliance with NDPE (No Deforestation, Peat and Exploitation) criteria. In partnership with Earthworm Foundation’s Rurality smallholder farmer programme, Johnson & Johnson is supporting an action plan specifically developed for farmers in the Sei Nilo region of the Pelalawan sub-district in Indonesia to improve palm oil fruit quality, shorten supply chains, and identify other potential commodities as alternative income generators.