Nestle to stop using products from rainforest destruction

Media release - May 17, 2010
Nestlé, the world’s biggest food and drinks company, announced today that it will stop using products that come from rainforest destruction. The move follows a two month Greenpeace campaign that exposed Nestlé’s use of palm oil in products like KitKat (1). The expansion of palm oil and pulp plantations is driving the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands and pushing endangered orang-utans to the brink of extinction.

Rolf Skar, Greenpeace Forest Campaigner, said: “We are delighted that Nestlé plans to give orang-utans a break and we call on other international retailers, such as Carrefour and Wal-mart, to do the same. Since the beginning of our campaign, hundreds of thousands of people have contacted Nestle to say that they will not buy products linked to rainforest destruction.” 

Under its new policy, Nestlé commits to identify and exclude companies from its supply chain that own or manage “high risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation”(2). This exclusion would apply to companies such as Sinar Mas, Indonesia’s most notorious palm oil and pulp and paper supplier (3), if it fails to meet the criteria set out in the policy. It also has implications for palm oil traders, such as Cargill, which continue to buy from Sinar Mas. 

“Nestlé's move sends a clear message to Sinar Mas and to the rest of the palm oil and paper industries that rainforest destruction is not acceptable in the global marketplace. They need to clean up their act and move to implement a moratorium on rainforest destruction and full peatland protection. Greenpeace will closely monitor and push for the rapid implementation of Nestlé's plan,” said Skar. 

Global demand for both palm oil and paper is increasing, with companies like Sinar Mas expanding into Indonesia's forests and peatlands. As a result, the country has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction (4) on the planet and is the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after China and the United States. (5) Palm oil is used in a huge range of products - from chocolate, toothpaste and cosmetics to so-called “climate friendly” biofuels. 

Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Team Leader said: “The Indonesian government must also take tough action against deforestation. It must protect our country's carbon rich peatland and rainforests as well as the reputation of the palm oil and paper industries by establishing a moratorium on forest destruction and full peatland protection. In order to make this happen Greenpeace will continue to pressure both the Indonesian government and the palm oil and paper industries that are causing biodiversity and climate devastation.” 

VVPR info: Nestlé: Robin Tickle, Head of Corporate Media Relations, tel: +41 219 243 517 Greenpeace: In US: Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace Press Officer, +1 510 501 1779 In Jakarta: Martin Baker, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Communications Director, tel:+62 8131 582 9513 For photos John Novis, Greenpeace International photo desk, +44 7801 615 889 For video footage Maarten Van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International video desk, +31 646 197322

Notes: (1) Globally, KIT KAT is one of the best-known Nestlé products containing palm oil. In the U.S., KIT KAT is a licensed to Hershey Foods Corporation through an original licensing agreement executed with Rowntree Products in 1969. In 1988, Nestlé purchased Rowntree and exercises the KIT KAT product worldwide. The Greenpeace report “Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé Use of Palm Oil is Destroying Rainforests and the Climate” does not examine Hershey Foods Corporation palm oil sourcing. Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé’s Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, The Climate and Orang-utans at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/caught-red-handed-how-Nestlé (2) http://www.nestle.com/InvestorRelations/Events/AllEvent /Nestle_open_forum_on_deforestation_Malaysia.htm (3) Sinar Mas has a long history of breaking its environmental promises, both in the palm oil and the pulp and paper sectors. It currently has 406,000 hectares of oil palm plantations and plans to develop another 1.3 million hectares for plantations in Papua and Kalimantan. http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/id/press/reports/new-evidence-sm-agm-Singapore See satellite images and photographs in 'New Evidence Sinar Mas -- Rainforest and peatland destruction' Greenpeace, April 2010, at:http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/newevidence and Statement in GoldenAgri Resources, Enhancing Values, Enriching Lives, 2009 Annual report, page 39. (4) FAO 2005. Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA). (5) WRI 2008: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute) http://cait.wri.org

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