Nutella - Breakfast for Champions?

Football, Ferrero and Forests

Feature story - 28 May, 2008
The Italian football team apparently love nothing better than a nice dollop of Nutella spread over their bread for breakfast – “breakfast for champions” according to Nutella, the official sponsors for the national team. But what else do Nutella’s owners, the Italian company Ferrero – official sponsor of the entire Euro 2008 Championship - support?

Greenpeace activists dressed as orang-utans bring an alternative breakfast to the Italian national football team, asking them to join in the call for Nutella to 'Save the Forests' of Indonesia.

Nutella – a hazelnut-based sweet spread -is immensely popular in Italy,as well as the rest of Europe and around theworld. Its exact ingredients are, as you might expect, are a closely guardedsecret, but according to two laboratories that analysed the spread forGreenpeace, it is composed of 31% vegetable oils, most of which is palm oil.

Aside from pushing species, such as theorang-utan of Borneo, Indonesia, to the brink ofextinction, the destruction of the world’s rainforests and peatlands to makeway for increased palm-oil plantations is driving climate change - every timethe rainforest is trashed, huge amounts of greenhouse gases are released intothe atmosphere. The destruction of rainforests accounts for a fifth of allgreenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than all the planes, trains and automobilesin the world.

We sent along the “Borneofootball team” – eleven orang-utans! – to explain. Arriving at the Italiansquad’s official training centre, the orang-utans presented the footballerswith an alternative “breakfast for champions” – a chocolate cream called Deforestazione Zero – and asked them tosupport our call for Zero Deforestation!

Greenpeace has been calling on Ferrero todeclare its purchasing policy on palm oil, to assure us and its customers thatNutella is not being produced from palm oil that comes from deforestation. Sofar, we’ve had no positive news, which is why we’re asking the Italian nationalteam to champion the cause.

Ferrero is a member of the Roundtable onSustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international association which has been put incharge of making the palm oil sector more sustainable. Despite the fact thatthe RSPO has existed since 2002, there is still no certified palm oil on themarket.

Greenpeace has produced a report, “TheHidden Carbon Liability of Indonesian Palm Oil”, which highlights theurgent need for global palm oil consumers and investors to support our call foran immediate moratorium on deforestation and peatland clearance in Indonesia.

One of the major companies using palm oilin its products is Unilever, which heads up the RSPO. Using Unilever's palm oilsupply chains as a case study to help quantify the carbon liability andcollateral risks associated with the Indonesian palm oil sector, the reportshows how, by buying palm oil from suppliers who account for more than one-thirdof Indonesia's palm oil production, companies - including Ferrero and othermajor players such as Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Kraft - are increasingtheir potential carbon liability and thus leaving investors exposed topotentially significant levels of hidden risk, compromising long-term financialand brand stability.

Following Greenpeace pressure, Unilever has recognised the global problems associated with palmoil expansion and the need for drastic reform to this sector. Unilever hastaken a bold move in supporting our call for an immediate moratorium ondeforestation and peatland clearance. While Unilever's position is strengthenedby its status as the largest single palm oil consumer in the world, companieslike Ferrero need to join with Unilever, support the moratorium and spread the callfor a halt to deforestation.

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