Nestle Chairman calls for a moratorium on deforestation

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th April 2010

Nestlé Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, this week repeated the Company’s call for a moratorium on the destruction of the world’s rainforests and blamed the biofuel industry for the growth in deforestation.


Addressing a question from Greenpeace at the Company’s Annual General Meeting in Lausanne on April 15, Mr Brabeck-Letmathe condemned the use of food for fuel and said Nestlé had recognised the danger many years ago when it called for a moratorium on the destruction of rainforest in Brazil.

Mr Brabeck-Letmathe told shareholders that in 2009 the UK, Germany and Italy alone used 500,000 tonnes of palm oil for biodiesel, compared with the 320,000 tonnes of palm oil used by Nestlé throughout the world.

Nestle’s use of palm oil has been widely publicised recently, when they became the target of a Greenpeace campaign fighting to protect the rainforest and biodiversity in Indonesia.

“We view deforestation as one of the most serious environmental issues facing us today on a global level,” Mr Brabeck-Letmathe said.  He called on Greenpeace to constructively join Nestlé to help bring about a moratorium on the destruction of rainforests.  “We are the first people who would work with you in this struggle,” he said.

In an earlier letter to the co-ordinator of the International Forest Campaign at Greenpeace, Mr Pat Venditti, Mr Brabeck-Letmathe said Nestlé had consistently emphasised its concern with deforestation not only from palm oil but for any reason.

He reiterated to Mr Venditti, Nestlé’s 2008 call for the creation of a wide-ranging co-alition of stakeholders from industries which impact deforestation as well as representatives from government to make the moratorium a reality.

It is estimated that the destruction of the world’s rainforests contributes to about 20 per cent of greenhouse gases – more than the entire transport sector. Mr Brabeck-Letmathe said the growing use of bio-fuels was a serious factor in this destruction – something which the company has vigorously condemned.