Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Nestle Replaces Oil Supplier Amid Greenpeace Campaign

Nestle Replaces Oil Supplier Amid Greenpeace Campaign

By Jeroen Molenaar

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA said it dropped Sinar Mas Group as a supplier of palm oil, after Greenpeace called on the world’s largest foodmaker to cut ties with the Indonesian company.

Nestle replaced Sinar Mas with an unidentified supplier, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Greenpeace earlier today published a report saying Sinar Mas has unlawfully destroyed rain forests to set up palm oil plantations.

Unilever, the world’s second-biggest foodmaker, suspended deliveries from the Jakarta-based plantation owner and oil producer three months ago. Greenpeace wrote to Nestle saying it has “evidence that Sinar Mas is breaking Indonesian law” and ignoring international environmental commitments, the environmentalist group said on its Web site.

PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, Sinar Mas’s palm oil unit, is “committed in applying a responsible land clearing and the best practice of farming management in all of our plantations,” President Director Jo Daud Dharsono said by phone today. “We always maintain communication with Greenpeace and we will soon arrange a meeting and have a dialogue with them,” he said.

Deforestation in Indonesia is “pushing already endangered orangutans to the brink of extinction and accelerating climate change,” Amsterdam-based Greenpeace said on its Web site. Sinar Mas has continued expansion into rain forests and “critical orangutan habitat,” Greenpeace said.

Nestle today repeated its commitment to using only “certified sustainable palm oil” by 2015. Unilever plans to double the amount of palm oil it uses from sustainable sources by 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeroen Molenaar in Amsterdam
Last Updated: March 17, 2010