Nestlé suspended from RSPO for failing to pay dues, submit progress reports

Nestlé suspended from RSPO for failing to pay dues, submit progress reports

Food and drinks giant Nestlé was suspended from the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production late last month and can no longer use the group’s stamp of approval to claim its products are sustainable. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has come under frequent criticism for giving its members who violate sustainability rules a pass, but suspended Nestlé for “breaches of the RSPO statues and code of conduct for members.” The RSPO was established by environmental groups and industry representatives in 2004 in an attempt to push back against destructive practices by oil palm growers, such as deforestation and land grabbing. But some environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, say the suspension of Nestlé does little to allay wider concerns in the sector. “You’d expect us to support action like this. but you have to put it in context,” said Sol Gosetti, a Greenpeace spokesperson. “RSPO has repeatedly ignored deforestation and human rights abuses by its members, including sustained destruction of primary forest.” “In the past year alone, Greenpeace has raised at least five cases with RSPO and got nowhere. Then suddenly they decide to suspend Nestlé for procedural violations. Obviously, we want RSPO to enforce its rules but that has to start with growers that destroy forests and abuse people.” A Bornean orangutan in Indonesia. The critically endangered species is threatened by the unbridled expansion of oil palm plantations into their forest homes. Image by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay. The RSPO said Nestlé’s suspension was due…

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