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Nestle drops Indonesia palm oil supplier after Greenpeace report on rainforest destruction

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Nestle, palm oil, health news

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(NaturalNews) Nestle recently announced that it would stop purchasing palm oil from the world's second largest producer out of concern over rainforest destruction, but Greenpeace alleges that the company has failed to keep this promise.

Following a Greenpeace report accusing Indonesian palm oil producer Sinar Mas of responsibility for widespread destruction of endangered rainforests and peatlands for palm oil plantations, Nestle announced in March that it would cease doing business with the company. In December, Nestle rival Unilever had cut ties with Sinar Mas over the same issue.

"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," Nestle said.

The company also pledged that by 2015, all the palm oil it uses will be certified sustainable.

But Greenpeace claims that Nestle has continued to purchase Sinar Mas palm oil through middlemen such as Cargill, thus contributing to the destruction of habitat for endangered animals like the orangutan and the release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

To make this point, Greenpeace activists rappelled down from the roof and into the middle of Nestle's April shareholders meeting, while other activists dressed as orangutans handed out fliers about the company's actions.

"We are here today to tell Nestle to change its KitKatastrophic policies," said Pat Venditti, international head of forest campaigns for Greenpeace. "We are urging shareholders to use their influence to ensure Nestle's products are completely free from Sinar Mas palm oil and paper products."

But Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe shot back that the focus on his company is misguided.

"You know very well that it's not Nestle's 350,000 tons of palm oil that brought about deforestation in Indonesia," he said, "but a political decision to use food as a source for biofuels."

The United Kingdom and Germany alone have consumed 500,000 tons of palm oil for biofuels between them, he said.

Nestle is the biggest food company in the world.

Sources for this story include: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62G3PM... http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article....

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