Zoos lose palm oil products
Zoos Victoria has dumped Nestle products from its zoos over a palm oil controversy.
Nestle has been suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) after it failed to submit a report on its actions to produce and buy certified sustainable product.
The company has until July 20 to submit the report or risk having its membership terminated.
Zoos Victoria, the group that runs the Melbourne and Werribee zoos, has campaigned for the sustainable production of palm oil — an ingredient whose overuse has critically endangered the Sumatran orangutan population.
The zoos will not sell Nestle products from their kiosks and food carts until the company complies with RSPO standards.
“This is the best and most reliable way we … can guarantee that the food we're selling is not contributing to the loss of wildlife,” said director of wildlife conservation and science at Zoos Victoria, Rachel Lowry.
“We know that the production of palm oil overseas is marching species to the extinction line, like both orangutan species, Sumatran tigers, pygmy hippos.”
The products to be removed include Allens lollies, Lifesavers, Smarties, Kit Kat, Aero and Milky Way bars.
Nestle has issued a statement reiterating its support for the aims of the RSPO.
“Absolutely nothing has changed for our products: we are continuing to use exactly the same palm oil ingredients from the same RSPO-certified supply chains,” the company said.
“We're disappointed that our RSPO membership has been suspended. We're talking to the RSPO and hope to re-qualify in the coming days.
“While our approaches differ, we believe that the sector will be stronger if we work together.”