Nestlé latest to issue palm oil pledge

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 28th October 2009

Nestlé has insisted it is “committed” to using only “sustainable” palm oil from 2015, the latest in a series of announcements on the raw material from food manufacturers and retailers.

The Swiss food giant, the world’s largest food maker, said it would use “Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)” from 2015 after a “detailed review” of its palm oil supply chain.

Environmental campaigners have criticised the world’s food companies for playing in a part in destroying rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia through their sourcing of palm oil.

Nestlé buys processed palm oil and uses palm kernel oil in some of its confectionery and dairy products.

The company insisted, however, that it has no “direct links” to palm oil plantations and works with suppliers on tracing where the palm oil it uses comes from.

“Nestlé has pledged to give preference to suppliers who strive to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations and use of resources,” the company said.

The group added that it had applied for “full corporate membership” of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an international NGO founded in 2004 to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil.

Yesterday, UK retailer Marks and Spencer announced that it would purchase GreenPalm certificates to cover its entire palm oil usage.

Earlier this month, Ferrero, the confectionery giant, struck a deal to source “significant quantities” of sustainably produced palm oil.

In August, however, Cadbury and Fonterra came under fire for their use of palm oil and related ingredients.

Cadbury said it would look again at changes it made to its Dairy Milk chocolate recipe in New Zealand, after an outcry from consumers, led by social networking site Facebook.

The confectionery giant had substituted the cocoa butter in the recipe with vegetable fats including palm oil.

Greenpeace, meanwhile, slammed Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, for using palm kernel expeller, or PKE, to feed cows.

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