RSPO reinstates Nestle’s membership

Targeted company: Nestle headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. After a busy year for activist investors targeting European companies such as Nestle SA, experts say firms are becoming more eager to address shareholder concerns before they escalate into public campaigns.

PETALING JAYA: The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has reinstated Nestle SA’s membership following the submission of its time-bound action plan to achieve 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2023.

In a statement yesterday, the RSPO said the Swiss food group’s certificates and membership status was reinstated effective yesterday.

“The RSPO and Nestle share the vision of transforming the palm oil industry for a sustainable future. They also believe that achieving this requires the entire industry to work towards greater transparency, inclusiveness, direct supply chain engagement and capacity building throughout the supply chain.”

In the same statement, Nestle’s responsible sourcing global head Benjamin Ware said transparency in its supply chain had always been a priority.

“Nestle has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress towards our commitment to using fully responsibly sourced palm oil.

“Nestle supports the RSPO’s role in driving industry-wide change and appreciates its decision following the submission of our action plan which focuses on increasing traceability primarily through segregated RSPO palm oil. This builds on Nestle’s ongoing activities to achieve a traceable and responsibly sourced palm oil supply chain.”

He added that Nestle would play a leading role within the RSPO by participating in working groups and sharing its experiences in addressing some of the critical environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting the sector.

“In line with the RSPO’s objectives, this work will focus on preventing deforestation, particularly the protection of peatland and high-carbon stock land as well as respecting human rights across the value chain,” said Ware.

Last month, the RSPO suspended Nestle for failing to submit a report detailing how it would ensure the use of certified sustainable palm oil,

The RSPO is a body of palm oil producers, consumer companies and activist groups which provides sustainability certificates for the industry. Certification of environmentally sound behaviour is required by some major palm oil buyers in the West, including major food and candy makers such as Unilever and Mars.

RSPO members are required each year to specify their action taken over the previous 12 months and plans for the coming year and longer term on how they will produce or buy certified sustainable palm oil in a report.

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