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Palm Oil

Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline audit
Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline audit: The Forest Trust’s (TFT) Bobby Bayu Prakoso (left) carries out a Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guideline audit with a manager from our supplier PT SMART on a palm oil estate in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

In September 2013, we met our ambition to source 100% RSPO-certified palm oil, two years ahead of our public commitment. Our next step is to achieve 95% traceable and 70% responsibly sourced palm oil by 2015.

Palm oil specific requirements

By making explicit provisions for peatlands and high-carbon stock forests, we go beyond the RSPO requirements and give more emphasis to the issue of deforestation, and to social conflict arising from potential land rights and acquisition disputes.

Our category-specific requirements for palm oil call on our suppliers to source oil from plantations that:

  • Comply with local laws and regulations;
  • Do not come from areas cleared of natural forest after November 2005;
  • Respect the free, prior and informed consent of local and indigenous communities;
  • Respect high conservation value forests;
  • Protect peatlands and forests of high carbon value; and
  • Comply with all RSPO principles and criteria.
Traceability and verification

To ensure the palm oil we source is not associated with deforestation, we must know where it comes from, so we work with our suppliers and our partner The Forest Trust (TFT) to build traceability and carry out field assessments against our Responsible Sourcing Guideline.

We support the RSPO as the industry-wide instrument, and accept RSPO certification as partial verification of compliance with our Responsible Sourcing Guideline (we verify peatland and high-carbon forest separately). In addition, we accept traceable oil from smallholders and growers who are not yet compliant but have an action plan and timeline in place for meeting the terms of our Responsible Sourcing Guideline.

We recognise that during an interim period, until traceability becomes feasible for all supply chains, including for complex blends of palm-based derivatives, GreenPalm certificates have a role to play in supporting producers of certified sustainable palm oil.

Since we began working on palm oil traceability in 2010, we have directly engaged with suppliers responsible for 80% of our palm oil volume.

As indicated above, by September 2013, 51% of our volume could be traced back at least to the mill in the country of origin, and about 19% of our volume was responsibly sourced oil, meaning it is Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessed and traceable to a plantation that is either compliant or at least engaged in continuous improvement.

Full details on our progress: Autumn 2013 Palm Oil Progress Report (pdf, 925 Kb).

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Find out more in our Creating Shared Value full report