October 15, 2018

Nestlé clarifies supply chains still linked to deforestation

( - Nestlé has confirmed that despite concerted efforts on the part of its direct suppliers to remove palm oil sourced from the Indonesian-listed company PT ANJT, which continues to clear Papua's high carbon stock (HCS) forests, this has yet to be 100% achieved and is still in process.

BungeLoders CroklaanSime Darby Plantation and Fuji Oil are among the direct suppliers that have fed ANJT's palm oil into Nestlé's tanks, as shown in the Swiss food & beverage giant’s own supply chain data published in February 2018.

"We are currently working with our suppliers and supply chains to identify where and how ANJT (palm oil) is entering the supply chain, in order to remove them once and for all," a Nestlé spokesperson declared in a written statement to (Oct 11). 

Nestlé's assertions were in response to an email from  about its recent news report (Oct 10) which revealed that the company's supply chain remains linked to new deforestation in ANJT concessions in the province of West Papua.

Using the Planet Explorer images below, Greenomics Indonesia was also able to identify other spots where the clearing of HCS forests is still underway in the ANJT concessions, at the same time as Nestlé’s direct suppliers are not yet 100% disengaged from ANJT palm oil.

Asked when Nestlé plans to have removed 100% of ANJT palm oil from its supply chains, the company's spokesperson said "our ambition remains by the end of 2020 all of the palm oil that we use will be responsibly sourced."

Nestlé also claimed that most of its suppliers have already removed ANJT’s palm oil from their supplier base. "We are working with those remaining to ensure that ANJT (palm oil) is (totally) removed from Nestlé's supply chain," according to the spokesperson.

"Nestlé's explanation is completely inadequate seeing that it does not mention who 'most of its suppliers' that have dropped ANJT’s palm oil are and since when they have dropped it," lamented Vanda Mutia Dewi, Executive Director of Greenomics Indonesia, in reaction to Nestlé's statement (Oct 12). 

The following Planet Explorer images from Greenomics show another spot that was subjected to forest clearing in an ANJT concession. Nestlé's supply chains, nevertheless, are still tainted by this deforestation through its direct suppliers. 

Eyes closed for four years 

The Nestlé spokesperson emphasized that when it decides to remove a supplier, including ANJT, from its direct or extended supply chains due to malpractice, it can take up to six months before the process is completed. 

Vanda blasted this statement too. "Nestlé's move to disengage from ANJT’s palm oil has been extremely slow, considering that ANJT was in its supply chain list announced in February 2018 and as of today Nestlé is still connected to ANJT's palm oil."

She went on to criticize Nestlé for closing its eyes for about four years to the case of ANJT, ever since the first Greenomics report was published in July 2014 revealing the onset of extensive deforestation in two ANJT concessions covering the equivalent of more than 57 thousand football fields.

In late July this year, reported how the supply chains of TFT and RSPO members are continuing to engage with ANJT’s deforestation, as portrayed in the Planet Explorer images below, with no announcement whatsoever from these companies that their relationship with ANJT palm oil would end.

Links to multiple cases

Nestlé's ongoing association with palm oil linked to new deforestation is even more disturbing given that a new palm oil expansion moratorium has recently been imposed by the Indonesian government.

Furthermore, the Environment and Forestry Ministry has disclosed many other cases in which Nestlé's supply chains are continuously linked to peat destruction. 

A new case exposed by the ministry, as reported by (Oct 12), also demonstrates how Nestlé's supply chain remains linked to ongoing peat forest clearing by PT Pundi Lahan Khatulistiwa (PT PLK) in an area inhabited by the Bornean orangutan.

Nestlé's direct suppliers, in this case ADM Global, BungeLoders Croklaan  and Sime Darby Plantation, are on record as continuing to buy palm oil from PT PLK to fill Nestlé's palm oil tanks. However, Nestlé did not respond when asked about this case.