Greenpeace has slammed major food manufacturers including Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Kraft, calling them “climate vandals” for their part in clearing tropical forests.
A Greenpeace report, published today, entitled Cooking the Climate, shows how companies are driving the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest and peat forest swamps to make way for palm oil plantations.
Greenpeace South-East Asia executive director Emmy Hafild says: “The investigation shows that a handful of international organisations are ultimately responsible for the slashing and burning of Indonesia’s peatland forests for food, fuel and laundry detergent.”
Indonesia has the fastest rate of forest deforestation of any major forested country. Its greenhouse emissions from deforestation alone account for 4% of the global total, placing the country as the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter.
“Some of the best known brands in the world are literally cooking the climate,” Hafild adds.
In a letter to Greenpeace, Nestlé says it sources its supplies of palm oil from “responsible sources”. Unilever, which uses 1.2 million tonnes of palm oil a year, says it attempts to its ensure oil supplies are grown in a responsible way but that its success had been “made harder by the rush into biofuels”.