The palm oil industry watchdog, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), reportedly reinstated Nestle’s membership three weeks after it had been suspended on June 27 when Nestle failed to submit a report on how the company would ensure the use of certified sustainable palm oil.
A joint statement released by Nestle and RSPO reportedly claimed that RSPO has reinstated Nestle’s membership as the Switzerland-based company has submitted its time-bound action plan to achieve 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2023. The joint statement went further to mention that Nestle has pledged to increase its efforts in working proactively on solutions within the RSPO system and it is on the basis of such assurance that Nestle is being welcomed back to the roundtable. Nestle’s membership status and certificates will be reinstated from 23rd July.
The suspension of Nestle and its reinstatement occurred on the heels of the RSPO’s demands that each member of the roundtable has to submit to the regulatory body the action that had been taken over the preceding 12 months and the plans for the upcoming year or longer period of time that the company hopes to deploy for the sustainable purchase of palm oil. Nestle had apparently failed to provide such a report that outlined how the company produced or bought certified sustainable palm oil.
For the record, palm oil, chiefly produced in Southeast Asia, is used in everything ranging from cooking oil and chocolate to soaps. In recent years the palm oil industry has come under scrutiny as it was alleged to cause extensive deforestation and forest fires across much of Southeast Asia.
RSPO is a body formed by activist groups, consumer companies and palm producers that provide sustainability certificated to participants in the palm oil industry. Certification of environmentally sustainable industrial behavior is required by some major palm buyers in the West, including major food companies like Unilever, Mars and Nestle.