Nestle draws up responsible sourcing requirements

18 May 2010

18 May 2010 | Andrea Klettner

Nestlé is introducing procurement guidelines to ensure its palm tree oil supply comes from sustainable sources.

The Swiss confectioner, which came under fire from environmental action group Greenpeace after a report claimed some of the oil it purchased was from unsustainable sources, has now teamed up with the Forest Trust to produce a set of responsible sourcing guidelines.

These guidelines, which were announced this week and will be enforced immediately, look at Nestlé’s procurement process and provide technical support to suppliers that do not meet the requirements. Guidelines include protecting high conservation value forest areas and peatlands, and ensuring farms and plantations used for sourcing palm oil comply with local laws and regulations.

In a statement Nestlé said: “By setting critical requirements for its procurement process and checking compliance with its supplier code, Nestlé wants to ensure that its products have no deforestation footprint.”

Nestlé recently dropped Indonesian firm Sinar Mas as a palm oil supplier after claims by Greenpeace that identified Sinar Mas as guilty of deforestation in its production of palm oil.

In a statement in March, Nestlé UK said it does not buy palm oil from the Sinar Mas Group for any of its products, including Kit Kat, but does purchase it from a company called Cargill and had sought assurances from them about their supply chain.

Nestlé aims to have 18 per cent of its palm oil purchases in 2010 coming from sustainable sources, working to reach 50 per cent by the end of 2011. The company has already committed to purchasing all of its palm oil from ethical sources by 2015.

Pat Venditti, head of Greenpeace’s forest campaign, said: “Nestlé’s move sends a clear message to Sinar Mas and to the rest of the palm oil and paper industries that rainforest destruction is not acceptable in the global marketplace. They need to clean up their act and move to implement a moratorium on rainforest destruction and full peatland protection.”

In a policy statement released by Sinar Mas earlier this year and at its AGM the company said it was committed to the principles of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and to a halt to clearing in forests and peatlands.

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