19 Mar 2010
Nestle official response:
There have been recent questions raised about Nestlé and palm oil.
We share the deep concern about the serious environmental threat to rainforests and peat fields in South East Asia caused by the planting of palm oil plantations. The company recently announced its commitment to using only "Certified Sustainable Palm Oil" by 2015, when sufficient quantities should be available.
Because of our commitment, we are taking all feasible steps to impact our suppliers to assure that we don’t buy palm oil which contributes to deforestation.
As a part of this commitment, we have accelerated the investigation of our palm oil supply chain to identify any palm oil source which does not meet our high standards for sustainability. Given our uncompromising food safety standards, we have done this in a deliberate manner as we use palm oil for food products rather than for soap or other personal care products.
Specifically, Nestlé has replaced the Indonesian company Sinar Mas as a supplier of palm oil with another supplier for further shipments. We confirm that Nestlé has only bought from Sinar Mas for manufacturing in Indonesia, and no palm oil bought from Sinar Mas has been used by Nestlé for manufacturing in any other country.
We have also joined other major purchasers of palm oil in making sure that companies, such as Cargill, understand our demands for palm oil which is not sourced from suppliers which destroy rainforests. At this point in time our suppliers of palm oil say they can’t currently guarantee that one particular company is excluded, due to the mingling of palm oil in a very complex supply chain. We will continue to pressure our suppliers to eliminate any sources of palm oil which are related to rainforest destruction and to provide valid guarantees of traceability as quickly as possible. We will not portray palm oil as free of such oils unless such guarantees are clear and reliable.
Regarding our sourcing of paper and packaging products, we confirm that we do not buy any materials from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).
The Nestlé Supplier Code sets out certain non-negotiable minimum standards that we ask our suppliers to respect and adhere to when conducting business. The code includes standards in sustainability and environment. Additionally, through our Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability, the company commits itself to give preference to suppliers who continuously strive towards improving the efficiency and sustainability of their operations and use of resources.
19 Mar 2010
Note the distinct lack of an apology and words such as "strive". Nestle should make a clear statement saying they use unsustainable sources, they should commit some of their vast funds towards repairing the situation and they should apologise for screwing up. Until that happens I won't be buying Nestle products. For evidence of their arrogance see my Facebook feed or their Facebook page where they hide behind the brand and spew dogma from their ivory tower!
19 Mar 2010
Sounds like typical lip service from a company with a pretty dodgy track record going back some way. I won't be buying their products again