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Monday, March 22, 2010

More good news today: Nestlé sets timetable for palm oil decision

Kit-Kat maker and supplier Cargill respond to Greenpeace campaign
by Kai Tabacek
from the

The head of operations for Nestlé Jose Lopez has told Guardian Sustainable Business that he expects to eliminate all traces of palm oil from Sinar Mas from its supply chain by mid-May, providing the allegations by Greenpeace linking the company to deforestation stand up.

Since Wednesday, Nestlé has been at the centre of a PR firestorm after Greenpeace alleged that its palm oil supplier Sinar Mas is involved in illegal rainforest clearance in Indonesia. Nestlé has since cancelled its contract with Sinar Mas, but says that it is still receiving palm oil from the firm through its supplier Cargill.

Cargill is one of the world's largest privately held corporations, exporting palm oil to more than 30 countries.

In a statement on its UK website, Nestlé said it had sought assurances from Cargill about its supply chain. "Cargill has informed us that Sinar Mas needs to answer Greenpeace's allegations by the end of April," the statement continued.

José Lopez told Guardian Sustainable Business that Cargill are investigating the case, and if found at fault, Sinar Mas would be cut out of Cargill's supply chain by Mid-May. "We definitely expect that to happen," he said.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK's executive director, responded saying that action needs to be taken immediately. "Cargill need to delist Sinar Mas from their global supply chain and Nestlé need to make a decision not to buy Sinar Mas palm oil directly or indirectly."

Greenpeace's allegations have prompted calls for Nestlé to bring its target for sourcing all of its palm oil from sustainable sources forward from 2015. On this point, Mr Lopez said "as soon as quantities are available we will be doing that … but we are not going to promise things we can't deliver."

The greenpeace ad:

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