KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (R.S.P.O.) has reinstated Nestle S.A.’s membership, which it suspended late last month. The reinstatement requires Nestle to submit a plan to achieve 100% R.S.P.O. certified sustainable palm oil by 2023.
“Transparency in our supply chain has always been a priority,” said Benjamin Ware, global head of responsible sourcing for Nestle. “Nestle has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress toward our commitment to using fully responsibly sourced palm oil. Nestle supports the R.S.P.O.’s role in driving industry wide change and appreciates its decision following the submission of our action plan, which focuses on increasing traceability primarily through segregated R.S.P.O. palm oil. This builds on Nestle’s ongoing activities to achieve a traceable and responsibly sourced palm oil supply chain.”
Additionally, Nestle intends to participate in working groups with the R.S.P.O. and share its experiences in addressing the environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting the sector, Nestle said. The work will focus on preventing deforestation, particularly the protection of peatland and high-carbon stock land, as well as respecting human rights across the value chain.
“The R.S.P.O. is more than a certification scheme — it is a commitment scheme,” said Darrel Webber, chief executive officer of the R.S.P.O. “When joining the R.S.P.O., all our members make a commitment to transform the palm oil industry. Nestle has pledged to step up their efforts in working actively on solutions within the R.S.P.O. system, via active participation. It’s with this in mind that we are welcoming Nestle back to the Roundtable, confident they will live up to our membership obligations and succeed in delivering on their time-bound plan. We trust that by working collectively we are able to realize a sustainable, respectful and responsible palm oil industry.”
The R.S.P.O. suspended Nestle’s membership on June 28, citing problems with the company submitting progress reports. Nestle failed to submit an Annual Communication on Progress report for 2016 and the report for 2017 failed to include a time-bound plan, according to the R.S.P.O.
The R.S.P.O., based in Kuala Lumpur, is a not-for-profit that unites stakeholders from the seven sectors of the palm oil industry: oil palm producers, processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks/investors, and environmental and social non-governmental organizations (N.G.O.s). The R.S.P.O. seeks to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.