Monday, 26 May 2008

Response from Unilever

A supporter received this letter from Unilever.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:07 PM

Hello from Unilever

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for your e-mail in which you express your concerns about the
deforestation caused by the increase in the demand for palm oil. I would
like to reassure you that Unilever shares these concerns.

As you know, we do use palm oil in some of our products but we also have a long history of promoting sustainability; for example, in tea and fish.
We are widely considered to be a leading player in the search for longer-term solutions to achieving sustainable palm oil.

We hold the Presidency of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a wide-ranging coalition of organisations including OXFAM, WWF, plantation owners, and manufacturers and retailers. We believe that the Roundtable is the most effective vehicle for jointly stimulating sustainability in the palm oil sector.

The key issue is that the demand of palm oil has exploded. This is due partly to growing demand from India and China and also due to the use of
palm oil as a feedstock for biofuels in the energy sector.

In November 2007, the RSPO officially launched its Certification Programme for Sustainable Palm Oil. It is essential that all those involved sign up to the agreed certification system to make sustainability work on the ground. This is not an easy process and is taking longer than we would all like. Nevertheless, we remain absolutely committed to finding an
effective and long term solution.

I trust that this has sufficiently reassured you that we are taking every
action we can on this important issue.

Kind Regards,

Colin Tucker
Careline Advisor

Unilever UK Limited
Registered in England & Wales; Company No 334527
Registered Office: Walton Court, Station Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
KT12 1UP