Orang-utans urge Nestlé: Stop monkeying around with the rainforests

Feature Story - 22 April, 2010
Today, six Greenpeace activists dressed as orang-utans swung by Nestlé’s headquarters. They urged the global food giant to stop using palm oil from destroyed rainforests. Demand for palm oil is destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. It threatens the survival of endangered orang-utans, causes conflict in local communities and accelerates climate change.

Activists outside Nestlé's Sydney headquarters asking the global food giant to stop using palm oil in its products.

Nestlé's use of palm oil is a disaster

Nestlé uses palm oil in some of the world's biggest selling chocolate bars, including Kit Kats. The demand for palm oil is driving orang-utans to the brink of extinction.

'We're here on Earth Day to tell Nestlé to stop monkeying around with the world's rainforests and give the orang-utan a break,' said Head of Greenpeace Campaigns, Stephen Campbell.


Activists at Nestlé's Sydney headquarters.

This is a disaster for the world's last remaining rainforests. In Indonesia alone, an area of forest the size of a football field is being cut down every 12 seconds.

As orang-utans lose their forests, they are deprived of their natural source of food. These hungry orang-utans can become seen as 'pests' to oil palm producers and plantation workers kill orang-utans to protect crops.

According to the Centre for Orang-utan Protection, at least 1,500 orang-utans died in 2006 as a result of deliberate attacks by plantation workers and loss of habitat due to the expansion of oil palm plantations.

Activists outside Nestlé's Sydney headquarters providing Nestlé staff information on the impact of using palm oil from destroyed rainforests. We encouraged them to ask Nestlé's international CEO to give orang-utans a break.

Over 200,000 people across the world have taken action already

200,000 people worldwide (including over 20,000 Australians) have emailed, called and faxed the international CEO of Nestlé since we launched our global campaign on March 17.

But the confectionary giant continues to use palm oil from the worst supplier in Indonesia, Sinar Mas, via third party suppliers such as Cargill.

An orang-utan outside Nestlé's Sydney headquarters.

At Nestlé's AGM in Switzerland last week, Greenpeace took these messages directly to shareholders and revealed new evidence about Sinar Mas' links to rainforest destruction and orang-utan habitat and how it has broken Indonesian law to make way for oil palm plantations.

'Every day that Nestlé fails to take concrete action to remove Sinar Mas from its supply chain, is a disaster for the planet,' said Campbell. 'The world is watching. Nestlé must clean up its act before it's too late for the orang-utans, the rainforests and the climate.'