Nestlé drives rainforest destruction pushing orangutans to brink of
extinction

Greenpeace launches online viral exposing true cost of "having a break" the KitKat way

AMSTERDAM, March 17 /CNW/ - Nestlé is using palm oil from destroyed Indonesian rainforests and peatlands, in products like KitKat, pushing already endangered orangutans to the brink of extinction and accelerating climate change, a new Greenpeace report reveals.(1) In Canada, Nestle products made with palm include: KitKat, Rolo, Coffee Crisp, Turtles, Butterfinger, Drumsticks, Crunch ice cream, most baby cereals and all infant formulas.(7)

A damning new Greenpeace report, 'Caught Red-Handed', exposes how Nestlé is sourcing palm oil from suppliers, including Sinar Mas, Indonesia's largest producer of palm oil, which continue to expand into the rainforest and carbon-rich peatlands, as well as into critical orangutan habitat. Sinar Mas also owns Asia Pulp and Paper, Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company, notorious for its role in rainforest destruction.

This morning, protests are taking place across Europe as around 100 Greenpeace activists, some dressed as orangutans, went to Nestlé's headquarters and factories in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. They called on Nestlé staff to urge the company to stop using palm oil that's the result of forest destruction.(2)

At 12.00pm CET (11.00am UK) Greenpeace launched its 'Have a Break?' video, showing what a KitKat break really means. The link went live at 12.00pm CET at www.greenpeace.org/kitkat

Nestlé, the world's leading food and drinks company, is a major consumer of palm oil. In the last three years, its annual use has almost doubled, with 320,000 tonnes of palm oil going into a range of products, including KitKat.(3)

"Every time you take a bite out of a KitKat, you may be taking a bite out of Indonesia's rainforests, which are critical for the orangutan's survival," said Stephanie Goodwin, forest campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. "Nestle needs to give the orangutan a break and stop using palm oil from suppliers that are destroying the rainforests."

The report's launch follows numerous attempts to persuade Nestlé to cancel its contracts with Sinar Mas. Most recently, in December, Greenpeace wrote to Nestlé with evidence that Sinar Mas is breaking Indonesian law and ignoring its commitments as a member of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the industry body that claims to be making the palm oil industry more sustainable. But evidence shows Sinar Mas's forest destruction continues.(4)

In the face of its unacceptable environmental practices, several major companies, including Unilever and Kraft, have cancelled their palm oil contracts with the company.(5)

"Other big companies are taking action, but Nestle continues to turn a blind eye to the worst offenders which supply them," said Goodwin. "It's time for Nestle to cancel its Sinar Mas contracts and stop being complicit in rainforest and peatland destruction."

Indonesia has one of the fastest rates of forest destruction on the planet, with palm oil plantations being a major cause. As a result, it is now the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter, after China and the US.(6)

NOTES TO EDITORS:

(1) Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé's Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, The Climate and Orang-utans at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/caught-red-handed-how-nestle

NOTE: Globally, KitKat is one of the best-known Nestlé products containing palm oil. In the United States, KitKat is licensed to Hershey Foods Corporation through an original agreement executed with Rowntree Products in 1969. In 1988, Nestlé purchased Rowntree and markets KitKat products worldwide outside of the United States. The Greenpeace report does not examine Hershey Foods Corporation's palm oil sourcing.

(2) Protests are being held at Nestlé headquarters in London (Croydon), Amsterdam and Frankfurt, and at seven Nestlé factories across Germany.

(3) In communication with Nestlé October 2007, it admitted to using 170,000 tonnes of palm based oil. By February 2010, it said its use had risen to 320,000 tonnes. See Nestlé response to BBC Panorama questionnaire sent to major food manufactures in the UK, in connection to its programme "Dying for a biscuit", 22 February 2010: http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/panorama_nestle.pdf.

(4) Illegal forest clearance and RSPO greenwash: Case study of Sinar Mas at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/forests/sinarmasRSPOgreenwash.pdf and photographic evidence of Sinar Mas subsidiary PT. Agro Lestari Mandiri clearing forest in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, 9 March 2010.

(5) Unilever cancelled its $30 million (21 million euros) annual contract in 2009, see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6952288.ece Kraft announced the cancellation of its contract with Sinar Mas in a letter to Greenpeace, 16 February 2010. Both moves followed Greenpeace evidence of Sinar Mas's environmental destruction.

(6) FAO 2005. Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2005. http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/fra2005/en/; on palm oil: www.unep.org/grasp/docs/2007Jan-LastStand-of-Orangutan-report.pdf; and on climate: WRI 2008. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 6.0 (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute) http://cait.wri.org

(7) Nestle products sold in Canada that contain or may contain palm oil: http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/boreal/kit-kat/product_llist

SOURCE Green News

For further information: For further information: Alex Paterson, Greenpeace Canada communications officer, (416) 524-8496; Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace communications officer, (778) 228-5404; Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace Canada forest campaigner, (604) 761-6722; Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Canada forest campaigner, (416) 573-7209; For photo and video content, please contact Aube Giroux, Greenpeace creative media officer, (416) 597-8408, ext. 3075

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