Friends of the Earth Responds to Nestle’s Decision to Suspend Business Ties with AAL, Indonesia’s second largest palm oil company
WASHINGTON – In a communication to Friends of the Earth U.S., global food giant Nestlé has committed to ensuring that palm oil from three subsidiaries of Astra Agro Lestari (AAL), Indonesia’s second largest palm oil producer, will no longer enter the company’s supply chain. Nestlé is one of dozens of brands linked to AAL and other palm oil suppliers whose business models drive violent land-grabbing, environmental destruction, and human rights violations.
“Nestlé’s suspension of AAL from its supply chain is an important first step toward ensuring accountability for ongoing human rights violations,” said Gaurav Madan, Senior Forest and Lands Campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “But Nestlé and other multibillion-dollar consumer giants — who for years have pledged to protect forests and respect human rights — cannot simply walk away from these abuses. These companies now have a monumental opportunity to ensure grievances are redressed, conflicts are resolved, and justice is delivered to communities on the frontlines of violent extraction and the climate crisis.”
The news from Nestlé, first reported by Bloomberg, comes after extensive documentation of AAL’s environmental and human rights abuses. Last week, 55 Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and community-based organizations sent an open letter to the world’s largest consumer companies demanding they immediately suspend AAL from their supply chains and work to redress the grievances of impacted communities. Friends of the Earth hand-delivered the letter to members of the Consumer Goods Forum during a protest at their annual meeting during New York Climate Week.
Many consumer companies, including Procter & Gamble, Hershey’s, Kellogg’s, Unilever, and PepsiCo, continue to do business with AAL despite mounting evidence and documentation of ongoing violations to international human rights laws, companies’ policies, and industry best practice. Danone privately said it would suspend AAL from its supply chain earlier this year but has not publicly confirmed its decision.
While advocates are urging consumer companies to stop doing business with AAL, they also demand that these multinational corporations work to ensure remedy is provided through the return of land grabbed without communities’ consent and compensation for environmental destruction and loss of livelihoods. International civil society organizations will continue urging powerful consumer companies to adopt clear policies and procedures to ensure zero tolerance for violence, intimidation, murder, and criminalization of Environmental Human Rights Defenders.
Communications contact: Brittany Miller, [email protected], (202) 222-0746