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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Nestlé's palm oil and the devastating effect on Indonesia's rainforest

Did you know that Nestlé produce enough KitKats every five minutes to stack the Eiffel Tower?

If you like Kitkats this is an amazing picture now painted in your head.

There is however a downside.

The palm oil used in KitKats is produced by companies who are demolishing areas of the Indonesian rainforest to create palm oil plantations, so by association Nestlé is also therefore implicated in the deforestation of rainforests.

Now Nestlé have denied  this, obviously and I sincerely hope Greenpeace will keep up the pressure on Nestlé to ensure their palm oil is from sustainable sources.

Below is the response from Nestlé:
We can assure you that Nestlé UK does not buy palm oil from the Sinar Mas Group for any of our products, including Kit Kat.

We do purchase palm oil from Cargill and we have sought assurances from them about their supply chain. Cargill has informed us that Sinar Mas needs to answer Greenpeace’s allegations by the end of April. They have indicated that they will delist Sinar Mas if they do not take corrective action by then.

Nestlé recently undertook a detailed review of its supply chain to establish the source of its palm oil supplies and we have made a commitment to using only "Certified Sustainable Palm Oil" by 2015, when sufficient quantities should be available.  As an important step on that journey, a number of Nestlé markets, including Nestlé UK, have already purchased Green Palm certificates, the certificate trading programme designed to help suppliers tackle the environmental and social problems created by the production of palm oil.
Endangered species such as orang-utans are among the worst affected wildlife species in Indonesia, now there are charities and organisations working to save the orang-utan and prevent the deforestation.

Indonesia has announced that they will introduce a two-year moratorium on deforestation to help tackle climate change, the country's president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said. 

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made the announcement in Norway on the eve of a climate conference in Oslo.

In addition to the work of Greenpeace, commitments from Nestlé and the work of charities in Indonesia this announcement is fantastic and it proves that by all of these groups working together that actually a harmonious result can be achieved.

Here is an extract from the Greenpeace Statement, to read the full statement go here:
You'll never guess what. Nestlé has only gone and agreed to our campaign demands! And you've made this possible. We really, seriously could not have done it without you. Now we need to move straight on to the next big player in the palm oil industry - banking giant HSBC. With nearly 1.5m views of our Kit Kat advert, over 200,000 emails sent, hundreds of phone calls and countless Facebook comments, you made it clear to Nestlé that it had to address the problems with the palm oil and paper products it buys. When combined with orang-utans at Nestlé HQ's in Croydon, Frankfurt, Beijing and Jakarta, and banners dropped over the AGM in Switzerland, Nestle top brass have really been under pressure.
Let us hope that Nestlé stick to their word and that Greenpeace and public opinion can change the minds of HSBC.
HSBC's policy says that it will "not provide financial services which directly support operations in wetlands on the Ramsar [Convention on Wetlands of International Importance] list". And yet we've recently published evidence to show that Sinar Mas has expanded its operations around the Danau Sentarum National Park in Kalimantan, one of the very wetlands on the Ramsar list.

HSBC bosses need to know the devastating effect their investments are having, and that they can't bank on deforestation or driving orang-utans to extinction.
Email HSBC CEO Michael Geoghegan now - you made Nestlé take action, let's make HSBC listen as well.

1 comment:

Paul Edie said...

well said! Palm oil is also one of the few vegetable oils which is predominatly saturated fat. I know people don't eat Kit Kats because they are good for them but even so I am sure using a more sustainable and healthier alternative wouldn't alter the flavour that much

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