April 14, 2010
I just got off the phone with a representative at Nestlé’s Canadian headquarters in Toronto. I told them who I was, that I’ve been known to eat a chocolate bar or two, and that I’m very concerned they are still using palm oil that comes from rainforest destruction in Indonesia in their food products. I was standing in a makeshift phone booth in downtown Vancouver when I made this call.
The phone booth is part of an activity where Greenpeace activists constructed new “habitat” for the endangered orangutan. The rainforest symbolically replaces the habitat that is destroyed when companies like Sinar Mas, who supply Nestlé with palm oil, destroy pristine rainforest to convert it into palm oil plantations. Right now, the activists have surrounded the rainforest and are blocking anyone, specifically our mock Nestlé employee, from cutting it down.
Activists also visited Nestlé Canada’s headquarters in Toronto to deliver the message that Canadians don’t want rainforest destruction in their food products.
Demand for palm oil has been increasing so much that the companies that sell it are leveling rainforests in Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations. Deforestation is destroying orangutan habitat, threatening this already endangered species with extinction.
These biologically rich rainforests play a crucial role in regulating our climate and absorbing carbon dioxide. The companies that produce palm oil have contributed to making Indonesia the third largest carbon emitter in the world.
Nestlé says it cares about the rainforest, that they don’t buy palm oil from Sinar Mas. Well, let’s look at Nestlé’s record. Through its suppliers, Nestlé buys palm oil from Sinar Mas, the largest producer of palm oil in Indonesia. Sinar Mas is breaking Indonesian law by clearing protected forests for its palm oil plantations.
As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé has a responsibility and the power to act quickly to change the way the palm oil industry behaves.
We all deserve to have a break — but having one shouldn’t involve taking a bite out of Indonesia’s precious rainforest. It’s time for Nestlé to give rainforests a break and stop destroying them for palm oil.
I’m not the only person who called Nestlé today. I personally saw dozens of people call and express an urgent need for action to stop any further rainforest destruction. You can help, too. Check out our speaking points and call Nestlé at 1-800-387-4636.