Unilever rises to the challenge

Feature story - May 15, 2008
Unilever has shown that beauty isn’t just skin deep. Following our campaign and thanks to your support, the company has taken the bold step to support our call for a moratorium on cutting down trees in Indonesia for palm oil plantations.

Indonesian girl from Greenpeace's parody Dove "onslaught(er)" video.

With our gallant activists barely out oftheir orang-utan suits, and with our Dove parody running on YouTube for a meretwo weeks, we were somewhat taken aback by the sheer speed with which ourcampaign has met with success! Sometimes it takes a lot longer to make acompany, corporation or government see the error of its ways.

But our work is not yet done! Palm oil isused for a wide range of products – from toothpaste to margarine, and fromwashing powders to soaps. Following our meeting with Unilever last week,agreements on what needs to happen next are now taking shape. Even thoughUnilever is the biggest buyer of palm oil, it represents only three percent of palmoil purchasers. The moratorium will need support from other companies if wewant to see real change in Indonesia.

Unilever has agreed to rise to thechallenge and lead the way, building a coalition of allies to put pressure on palmoil suppliers in Indonesiato agree to the moratorium. This includes lobbying all the major players in theindustry, including Kraft, Nestlé, Cadburys, Cargill and Proctor & Gamble.

Over the coming months, we’ll be meetingwith companies and urging them to join Unilever in supporting the moratoriumand stopping deforestation and the release of greenhouse gases that fuel climatechange. This coalition of influential players in the palm oil industry –together with the support of palm oil suppliers and the Indonesian government -is key to getting the moratorium in place as soon as possible.

There's still a long way to go to ensure that the climate is protected from further deforestation, that the bulldozers leave the rainforest and that orang-utans are saved from extinction in the wild. We'll be keeping you updated - and we'll be letting you know if we need your help again to put pressure on any company that may need a bit of an incentive to support the moratorium!

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