Recently, the food giant Nestle had its affiliation with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suspended for failing to hold to its promise. After much pressure, Nestlé is back at the table. Nestlé Now Promises to Protect Rainforests and Important Animal Habitats.
Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, has renewed it promise to protect rainforest wildlife including elephants, orangutans and others, by committing to using only certified sustainable palm oil in its products.
Recently, Nestlé was suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for failing to comply with RSPO regulations. After much pressure, particularly from accredited zoos around the world including Canada’s Accreditied Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), Nestlé once again promised to comply.
“Nestlé’s cooperation is critical,” says Dr. Susan Shafer, the executive director of CAZA, “because Nestlé not only plays a critical role in protecting these habitats, but by not rejoining the RSPO, it would be setting a dangerous precedent for smaller producers.”
She said others see this decision and have little trouble following suit and that’s a tragedy. “With Nestlé on board, we can make real headway, again,” said Dr. Shafer.
On its website, Nestlé claims it is “committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.” Dr. Shafer said she questioned that commitment when she heard the company had dropped the ball.
“We are just thrilled they are back. We can now, in good conscience, continue to promote the company’s products in our accredited zoos and aquariums.”stated Dr. Shafer
Oil palms can produce up to 10 times more oil per acre than any other vegetable oil. Because rainforests are rich with this resource, too often, these areas are destroyed by producers.
Founded in 1975, CAZA is the leading animal welfare standards-development organization in Canada. Its standards-development process includes expert opinions from researchers, biologists and academics to ensure the standards reflect the latest in animal-welfare research, organizational management and public-safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s standards bridge the ethical concerns regarding zoos and aquariums. These standards are currently the only pan-Canadian set of standards mandating zoological facilities in the country.