Quick response from Nestle, but not much to report

Posted by jamie — 17 March 2010 at 4:57pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace

You have to hand it to Nestle - they're quick off the mark when it comes to launching a PR offensive, and with orang-utans hanging around (and sometimes off) their premises around the UK and Europe, they've released a statement saying they're dropping contracts with one of the worst palm oil suppliers, Sinar Mas. However, there's a lot they're not talking about and would probably prefer not to talk about.

Where, for instance, is their commitment to cutting out Sinar Mas completely from their supply chain? They may now be cancelling direct contracts with forest trasher Sinar Mas, but SM palm oil will still end up in Nestle factories. Nestle also buys palm oil from third party suppliers like Cargill, and Sinar Mas palm oil still flows through their pipes. Until Nestle can guarantee that none of its other suppliers are buying from Sinar Mas, we're still on.

And there's no mention of their dealings with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one Sinar Mas' many subsidiaries. Their pulp and paper for instance, which is used in things like packaging, is also grown in areas of destroyed rainforest, and Nestle have been less than forthcoming about their relationship with APP. Categorical denials of any dealings with APP have suddenly today been replaced with a commitment to an investigation of their supply chain.

So, full marks for being quick off the PR block, but very few points for effort. In the meantime, enjoy our own Kit Kat advert and write to Nestle's CEO to demand a better response. And follow the fun we're having on Twitter.

Update: A few of the eagle-eyed among you spotted an error in the above. I’d said there was no mention of the Sinar Mas subsidiary APP in Nestlé's new statement yesterday, but there was - a claim that they are not buying from this company. However, at the same time as sending us this statement, Nestlé told us in private that they are "investigating" links to APP through their supply chain.

So it was right that company has been less than forthcoming about their relations with APP, but amid the excitement of yesterday, I missed the claim on this issue in Nestlé's statement - sorry for that!

About Jamie

I'm a forests campaigner working mainly on Indonesia. My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

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