The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says consumers have been “deceived” by promises from the brands to clean up their supply chains which were subsequently delayed, revised or watered down.
Laurel Sutherlin, a spokesman for the group, told the Guardian: “For too many years, Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have cherry-picked their [palm oil] targets and then moved the goalposts when they don’t achieve them. There’s just no further room for error to prevent the extinction of tigers, orangutans and elephants.”
The last parcel of Sumatran rainforest in which these three species all roam — along with rhinos, clouded leopards and sun bears — is vanishing at a dramatic pace as lucrative palm oil plantations illegally eat into tropical forestland.
The brands source palm oil from this 2.6m hectare Leuser region, via complex supply chains, some involving traders linked to suppliers illegally logging in the region.
Nestlé promised to end deforestation in its supply chain by 2015 in response to Greenpeace’s KitKat campaign of 2010. After Ran’s “Snack food 20” report, this was upgraded to a pledge of “no sourcing from areas converted from natural forests after 1 February 2013.” The target was missed.
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