Nestlé and Kraft probe palm oil sources after sustainability claims

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Palm oil, Oil palm

The globe’s two biggest food firms, Nestlé and Kraft, have launched internal investigations after a Greenpeace report claimed both purchase palm oil from Indonesian company PT Smart whose parent group Sinar Mas allegedly engages in widespread illegal deforestation and peatland clearance in Indonesia.

Greenpeace’s report, Illegal forest clearance and RSPO​ (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil) greenwash: Case studies of Sinar Mas​, claims it is “…engaging in practices which release vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and help Indonesia win the title of the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after China and the US​.”

A spokesperson for Nestlé told FoodNavigator.com: “PT Smart supplies a small volume of palm oil to one Nestlé market in South-East Asia.

Investigations

“Nestlé has been made aware of the Greenpeace report as a result of Unilever’s public statement. Nestlé has immediately started its own investigations, reviewing the allegations that the report makes​.

“The company recently undertook a detailed review of its supply chain to establish the source of its palm oil supplies and has committed to using only "Certified Sustainable Palm Oil" by 2015, when sufficient quantities should be available​,” she added.

Kraft UK told FoodNavigator.com: "We can confirm we buy relatively small volumes of palm oil from Sinar Mas companies. We are reviewing the allegations against Sinar Mas and our relationship with them​.”

The company acknowledged that the production of palm oil can have what it termed “significant and lasting environmental and social impact.​” Although it buys palm oil from RSPO members, it conceded that more needed to be done to enforce guidelines and address deforestation.

The company revealed that it is working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to gain a better understanding of the issue and all options available and plans to start purchasing certified palm oil in 2010.

Meanwhile, the Greenpeace report further claimed that Unilever and Proctor&Gamble also buy palm oil from PT Smart.

Unilever’s chief procurement officer, Marc Engel, said earlier this week: “Unilever is committed to sustainable sourcing. Therefore, we have notified PT Smart that we have no choice but to suspend our future purchasing of palm oil.”

Environmental

“If PT SMART are able to come forward with concrete proof that they are not involved in unacceptable environmental practices then we would certainly re-consider our position​.”

Proctor & Gamble, which produces snacks, denies sourcing palm oil from PT Smart. A spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com: “P&G is committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil. By 2015 we intend to purchase and use palm oil that we can confirm to have originated from responsible and sustainable sources​.”

No one PT Smart or Sinar Mas was available for comment before publication.

But, following the showing earlier this year of what Sinar Mas described as “a Greenpeace theatrical show," ​entitled “Sinar Mas - Forest and Climate Criminal​," the company responded: “… the development of oil palm plantations that are part of current government programs tend to use marginal lands that have been degraded.

“That’s why the government encouraged the industrial sector - Sinar Mas by PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology… (PT Smart)…to develop this sector to promote environmentally friendly principles​.”

Related topics: Market Trends, Sustainability, Fats & oils

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Free booklet: Fat extraction for food analysis

Free booklet: Fat extraction for food analysis

BÜCHI Labortechnik AG | 09-Dec-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Fat extraction is a standard reference method for quality control, labeling and satisfying stringent regulations. "The five essentials of fat extraction...

Stable antioxidants for deep frying applications

Stable antioxidants for deep frying applications

Kancor Ingredients Limited | 22-Jul-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Large quantities of wastage occur for frying oil in the snacking segment. When oil is fried at high temperatures, it quickly reaches its smoke point and...

Edible Oil Oxidation Monitoring with the microESR

Edible Oil Oxidation Monitoring with the microESR

Bruker BioSpin | 04-Jul-2018 | Application Note

Rancidity of vegetable oils occurs during storage and is caused by oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, resulting in foul odors and tastes in the product....

Does Europe Want to Ban Palm Oil?

Does Europe Want to Ban Palm Oil?

The Oil Palm | 12-Feb-2018 | Business Advice

The European Parliament has voted to ban Palm Oil biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive. There is one key question the Council of the European...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars