If you search for #KitKat on twitter right now, you’ll find lots of tweets that read like this:
Give the orang-utan a break... Stop Nestle using palm oil from destroyed rainforests http://bit.ly/KitKat #kitkat #nestle
Others brands have discovered that being more ethical is good business why have Nestle not? greenpeace.org/kitkat #KitKat
The Sun rise to the challenge with the headline 'Kitkatastrophe' http://cot.ag/bwC6ZB #nestle #kitkat
Greenpeace alleges that Nestle had the following video pulled from YouTube. It’s still available on Vimeo (if it’s pulled from Vimeo, the video below will stop working).
Nestlé, maker of Kit Kat, uses palm oil from companies that are trashing Indonesian rainforests, threatening the livelihoods of local people and pushing orangutans towards extinction.
We all deserve to have a break — but having one shouldn't involve taking a bite out of Indonesia's precious rain forests. We're asking Nestlé to give rainforests and orangutans a break and stop buying palm oil from destroyed forests.
When you told us that you cared about the problem just as much as us, sure, we had a few reservations.
For one thing, although you said that you'd no longer buy direct from Sinar Mas — the suppliers of unsustainable palm oil from deforested areas of Indonesian rainforest — you made no such promises about buying from people like Cargill who buy palm oil from the same company. Really, if you're buying the same stuff, but via an intermediary, and you're not able to rule out supplies from APP, that’s not enough progress is it?
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.
If I’m reading this correctly, right now, Nestle has high standards for the palm oil they use, but they can't promise that those standards are actually met. They have committed to make sure the standards are met by 2015. What do you think? Is this good enough? I understand that a large business like Nestle can’t shift gears overnight, but surely it can take less than five years.
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