Nestlé’s RSPO Membership Suspended After Failing to Provide Sustainability Reports

Food manufacturing giant Nestlé has had their membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suspended after failing to provide sustainability reports. The RSPO ensure that palm oil is produced sustainably, with palm oil destroying rainforests around the world and threatening the survival of some species.

The suspension on their membership means that in turn, they can no longer claim to be a member of the RSPO and its use of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). Nestlé failed to provide reports on the promotion of using sustainable palm oil for two consecutive years, and the RSPO Board of Governors made their decision on the suspension on June 27.

The RSPO have granted a 30-day period before Nestlé’s CSPO certifications, trademark and trade licenses become invalid. In addition, the food manufacturer’s voting rights at any RSPO General Assembly will be revoked.

Nestlé also failed to pay an unpaid and overdue membership fee of €2,000, which breaches the RSPO statutes. Failing to provide the Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) report for the past two years is the main reason for the suspension.

In a statement about Nestlé, the RSPO said: “Nestlé has not submitted the ACOP report for 2016 and for 2017 submitted the ACOP report without a time-bound plan. Nestlé was given the opportunity to complete its ACOP report for 2017 through active engagement, and has declined to submit a time-bound plan.”

Palm oil is a topic on everybody’s lips, from businesses to the general public. The devastation caused by palm oil has affected several species, most notably orangutans. The RSPO promote the sustainable use of palm oil, condoning palm oil plantations that are unsustainable, poorly managed and damaging to the environment.

The vegetable oil is controversial with many people, regardless of RSPO membership. For consumers, finding out if palm oil is in products is notoriously difficult, with hundreds of alternative names for the oil.

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