Nestle: Taking a Bite Out of Rainforests

by Rolf Skar

March 17, 2010

Following the release of a new report, Greenpeace activists around the world are taking action to tell Nestle – the largest food and drink company in the world – to stop sourcing palm oil from rainforest destroyers.  Send your own message to Nestle and help spread the word!

New Report Links Nestle to Rainforest DestructionThe new report: “Caught Red Handed: How Nestle’s Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, the Climate and Orangutans” exposes how Nestle’s growing use of palm oil is linked to companies involved in the destruction of forests and peatlands in the Paradise Forest region of Southeast Asia.

The Paradise Forests are one of the most important, but highly threatened, tropical forests on the planet.  Boasting world-famous wildlife diversity, the rainforest islands of Paradise are home to critically endangered orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and spectacular birds found no where else on Earth.  But with a world-record breaking deforestation rate, there’s not much time to protect their habitat.

That’s why Greenpeace is hitting hard and moving fast.  Seven hours after the campaign launch this morning, Nestle has taken a small step in the right direction. In a statement released this morning from its headquarters in Switzerland, the food and drink giants said that it will stop buying palm oil directly from notorious rainforest destroyer Sinar Mas group.

But, that’s not the end of the story.  This action by Nestle is long-overdue and doesn’t address the big palm oil problems facing the company.  Nestle gets a lot more palm oil from Sinar Mas
and other destructive suppliers through traders–companies like Cargill that combine, refine and distribute palm oil to corporate customers.  So, with your help, Greenpeace will continue to push Nestle cut Sinar Mas from its supply chain completely and become a public advocate for peatland protection and a moratorium on forest destruction for palm oil.

In the meantime, clearly worried about their brand image, Nestle petitioned YouTube to remove the new Greenpeace campaign video "Have a break?" due to a copyright claim. If Nestle is really concerned about its corporate image, it should prioritize cutting its links to rainforest destruction instead!

This move has not stopped Greenpeace from spreading the message, you can now view the video on Vimeo below.

Note that the (startling!) video plays off Nestle’s popular, palm oil filled Kit Kat candy bar. Greenpeace is using this video outside of the U.S. because in this country, Kit Kat is licensed to and made by Hershey’s.  While the Hershey’s version of Kit Kat also includes palm oil, our new report does not investigate the company’s palm oil sourcing.  With that in mind, view the spoof advertisement to show Nestle you don’t like rainforest destruction or their meddling with YouTube videos!

And, most importantly, spread the word and send a message to Nestle today!

Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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