Nestlé will miss 2020 deforestation goals

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

20% of the palm oil supply chain is made up of 'smallholders' who just barely make a living. Pic: GettyImages/Heri Mardinal
20% of the palm oil supply chain is made up of 'smallholders' who just barely make a living. Pic: GettyImages/Heri Mardinal

Related tags: Nestlé, deforestation, Rainforest Action Network, Supply chain

The Swiss conglomerate has admitted it will fall short of its target to use only ingredients that do not contribute to deforestation in its products by 2020.

A Nestlé spokeswoman said the company now predicts “over 90% of our key agricultural commodities to be verified deforestation-free by the end of 2020, up from 77% at the beginning of 2019.”

In 2010, Nestlé – along with many other majors – pledged to establish a deforestation-free supply chain within the decade.

Last year it introduced Starling, a satellite-based system for monitoring its fraught palm oil supply chain, to ramp up its efforts.

The system has been a major boost, but the company claims ‘smallholders’ – which account for around 20% of the palm oil supply chain – have proven particularly difficult to identify, track and police.

Many of these independent farmers just barely make a living, hence the company’s hesitation in severing ties.

Earlier this week, Nestlé was among the raft of major FMCG corporations to be called out by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) for allegedly purchasing illegally-grown palm oil from the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve in Indonesia.

A Nestlé spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks that the company is highly opposed to deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats around the world.

“For the past 10 years, we have been using a combination of tools, including supply chain mapping, certification,  satellite monitoring and on-the-ground verification, to ensure that the commodities we buy are not linked to deforestation. 100% of Nestlé palm oil supply chain is now monitored by Starling satellite technology.”

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