Beds, Herts & Bucks

Palm oil petition sisters visit Kellogg's

Asha and Jia Kirkpatrick
Image caption The girls are planning to boycott Kellogg's products until it changes its palm oil policy

Two sisters who started a petition to ban the use of palm oil in Kellogg's products have met the company's UK chief executive.

Asha and Jia Kirkpatrick, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, have taken their campaign from the breakfast table to the boardroom.

The girls, aged 11 and eight, started their online petition in August. It has since had more than 540,000 signatures.

Kellogg's said it "admired the passion" showed by the pair.

Palm oil is used in everyday products from toothpaste to margarine and thousands of acres of Indonesian rainforest are being destroyed to create it.

As a result, some 25 orangutans are being killed every day, according to Greenpeace.

The sisters were inspired to start their petition after watching a TV documentary about orangutans which showed the risks palm oil production caused them.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption About 25 orangutans a day are being killed by the palm oil production process

After seeing the girls' petition online, Oli Morton, the head of Kellogg's in the UK, invited them to his Manchester office to talk about the matter.

The sisters discussed a rainforest friendly logo for products which do not use palm oil.

Asha said: "It was quite nerve-wracking when we first went in.

"They were very nice and they said they didn't make any promises but they did say they will try to work out where they got their palm oil from in the past and who supplies it."

Image copyright Harvinder Dhinsa
Image caption Asha and Jia Kirkpatrick visited Kellogg's on Thursday

The girls will meet with the cereal giant again in March to talk about the findings of its inquiry.

In a statement, Kellogg's said the company had been working since 2009 to improve its sustainability.

A spokeswoman said: "We will continue to work through our supply chain - from suppliers to millers to growers - to ensure that the palm oil Kellogg uses is sourced from plantations that uphold the company's commitment to protect forests and peat lands, as well as human and community rights."

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