Nestle won’t buy supplies from a producer that breaks land and human rights

Swiss-based food giant Nestle is to stop buying supplies from Astra Agro Lestari and its subsidiaries. This is after environmental groups accused the Indonesian company of land and human rights abuses. Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) is a major Indonesian palm oil producer.

Nestle decided to exclude Astra Agro Lestari and its three subsidiaries from their supply chain due to increased reputational and legal pressure. Consumers and governments, and above all environmentalists insist the food giant fight climate change by taking more care of how the raw materials are produced.

Nestle is just one of the companies that used palm oil in their products

On this issue, Friends of the Earth made a report in June 2022. There they explain the misdeeds of one of the world’s largest palm oil producers. Namely, Astra Agro Lestari has illegally grabbed thousands of acres of community-owned land. The mentioned plantations are on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi.

The NGO environmentalists in their report said that the palm oil producer has devastated local waterways and destroyed the forests.

Thus, Friends of the Earth have alarmed the companies and officials that palm oil from AAL plantations most likely ends in Europe.

Palm oil is an ingredient in everyday products from mega-corporations. Some of them are Procter & Gamble, Hershey’s, MDLZ, Unilever, Nestle, General Mills, and others. They called the companies to stop buying supplies from AAL.

The European Commission has proposed several laws to prevent and ban the import and use of products linked to environmental and human rights abuses.

Stop buying goods from land and human rights-abusers

Friends of the Earth commented on Nestle’s announcement to stop buying from AAL as an important “first step”. They have renewed their call on other big companies to follow Nestle’s decision.

In their statement, the environmental group says that Nestle and other big companies have an opportunity to ensure justice. Because justice is what many affected communities in Indonesia want. The deeds of palm oil producers caused harm to their traditional environment, and that has to be settled.

All in all, Friends of the Earth think that if consumer giants put pressure on Indonesian palm oil producers they will change their behavior as result in enormous financial damages.