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Date: 2024-03-03 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00013325

Company / Nestle
Sourcing of Palm Oil

What is Nestlé doing to improve the sourcing of palm oil?


Peter Burgess

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responsible palm oil sourcing

What is your response to the Amnesty International report on palm oil?

The labour abuses identified in Amnesty International’s report have no place in our supply chain. We’ll investigate any allegations related to the palm oil that we buy, alongside our suppliers. Nestlé engaged extensively with Amnesty International during the drafting of its report, and provided detailed information on our relationship with palm oil supplier Wilmar. We’re working closely with Wilmar to improve traceability. We’ll discuss the serious allegations in this report with the company, to identify what it will do to ensure that illegal practices are brought to an end. For six years we’ve worked with partners, including The Forest Trust, to improve transparency, traceability and supplier behavior in the palm oil industry. Our Supplier Code includes strict rules on labour rights. We will suspend any suppliers that do not meet these requirements. Human rights are non-negotiable. We’ll continue to play an active role to ensure that they are respected. Read our full response to the Amnesty report. What is your relationship with Wilmar International, the company at the centre of Amnesty International’s report? Wilmar International has supplied us with palm oil for more than 10 years, and provides around 10% of the palm oil that we use. It has committed to our responsible sourcing programme, which includes strict rules on labour rights and on preventing deforestation. What is your relationship with Guatemalan palm oil producer REPSA? We source palm oil from REPSA and have been involved on the ground with the company to address the allegations made against it since they first arose. Namely violations of workers’ rights, violations of communities’ rights and environmental degradation. We acknowledge the seriousness of the claims made against the company and the significant changes that need to be made. However, we also recognise the real progress REPSA has achieved on some fronts. We remain positive that further progress will be made and are challenging REPSA to achieve it. We believe that best way to support the rights of affected people, communities, and the environment is by continuing to engage with the company. We have informed REPSA that we expect the company to take a lead, in terms of its radical transformation, and have communicated our concerns about broader social issues in the Péten Region. Read our response to Rainforest Action Network (pdf, 250Kb), a group concerned about the situation in Guatemala. How much palm oil does Nestlé purchase each year and what do you use it for? We bought around 420 000 tonnes of palm oil in 2015 – around 1% of the global production – from a number of processing companies that source oil from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries. We mainly use palm oil as a cooking oil and as an ingredient in food products. What is Nestlé doing to improve the sourcing of palm oil? We are working to increase the amount of responsibly sourced palm oil in our supply chain and to ensure that our suppliers comply with our Responsible Sourcing Guideline (pdf, 1.6Mb). With our partner The Forest Trust (TFT), we are mapping our palm oil supply chain. Over 90% of the palm oil we source is traceable back to mills that process palm and 47% of is traceable back to the plantation. This means that our suppliers either meet our guideline or have an action plan in place to do so. Our ambition is to achieve 70% traceability back to plantation level by the end of 2017. We’re also focusing on technical assistance programmes for smallholder farmers, including the 'Rurality' initiative that TFT is developing. This focus on smallholders is a direct way of improving our responsible sourcing of palm oil and of making a bigger difference to the livelihoods of farmers that supply us. Does palm oil cultivation cause deforestation and what are you doing to stop this? Palm oil cultivation has been linked to deforestation, particularly in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. To support efforts at ending deforestation, in 2010, Nestlé published a ‘zero-deforestation’ commitment. We have also signed the New York Declaration on Forests, we support the Consumer Goods Forum commitment to achieving zero net-deforestation by 2020, and we are active in Tropical Forest Alliance 2020. What do you expect of your suppliers of palm oil? We require all of the companies that supply us with palm oil to: Comply with local laws and regulations; Not cultivate palm or source it from areas cleared of natural forest after November 2005; Respect the free, prior and Informed consent of local and indigenous communities; Protect high-carbon-value forests; Protect peatlands; and Comply with the principles and criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the industry-wide certification body that promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products.

In addition, all of our suppliers must adhere to the provisions set out in our Responsible Sourcing Guideline (pdf, 1.6Mb).

Is Nestlé taking action against palm oil suppliers like IOI Group following concerns over their activities?

We reserve the right to review and potentially terminate commercial relationships with suppliers where their actions fall far below the standards we expect of them. Find more information regarding our relationship with IOI. Is palm oil hazardous to health? Concerns exist about health risks associated with the intake of saturated fat from vegetable oils, including palm oil, above limits recommended by health authorities. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, processed foods using palm oil (such as bouillons, fried noodles, doughs, chocolate coatings or ice creams) typically make only a small contribution to the daily intake of saturated fats and do not pose a health risk. We have significantly reduced the amount of saturated fat in many of our products since adopting a corporate policy (pdf, 1.5Mb) on the issue in 2009. In 2014, we strengthened our policy by committing to reduce further saturated fat content by an average of 10% by 2016 in products that do not meet Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria (pdf, 900Kb). Read more Read more about responsible sourcing of palm oil Still have a question? Please get in touch

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