photo: Windell H. Oskay/Creative Commons
Concerned about forest-destroying palm oil? You can now rest a little easier. The world's largest food and drinks conglomerate, Nestlé has pledged to stop using palm oil linked to rainforest destruction. Monitoring the commitment, The Forest Trust will ensure that no products come from companies that own or manage "high risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation."Nestlé and TFT worked together on criteria that will ensure all palm oil purchases will:
- Be derived from plantations and farms operating in compliance with local laws and regulations;
- Protect high conservation value forest areas;
- Support the free prior and informed consent of indigenous and local communities to activities on their customary lands where plantations are developed;
- Protect peatlands;
- Protect forest are of 'high carbon' value.
The new Nestlé commitment comes after several months of pressure, led by Greenpeace, pointing out the ecologically and socially unsustainable nature of most palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Greenpeace forest campaigner Rolf Skar expressed support: "We are delighted that Nestlé plans to give orangutans 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."
Nestlé policy states that by 2015 the entirety of its palm oil purchases will come from sustainable sources, rising from 18% today and a projected 50% by the end of 2011.
Though this commitment only applies to palm oil, Nestlé has indicated that it is "studying its supply chains to determine a similarly ambitious target for the pulp and paper it uses."