Greenpeace takes on Nestle over Indonesian rainforest destruction


An article published in The Guardian the other day describes how Nestlé is ‘fighting a PR battle with Greenpeace over claims that it is continuing to source palm oil from Sinar Mas, the Indonesian company accused of illegal deforestation and peatland clearance’. Greenpeace alleges that plantation expansion by Sinar Mas is endangering orangutans by encroaching on their habitat, and the latest campaign video (see above) features an office worker inadvertently biting into an orangutan finger instead of a KitKat chocolate bar. This hard-hitting clip (temporarily withdrawn yesterday from YouTube for reasons unknown) focuses more on the plight of the orangutan and less on the climate change and pollution dimensions. It doesn’t really matter though, as Nestlé can be censured on a number of fronts as the ‘fans’ at the Nestlé Facebook site have been pointing out in their droves these last few days. It will be interesting to see how this corporate juggernaut copes with this kind of criticism in the new, socially mediated world.

Update 22 March: This story from Mongabay would tend to corroborate the view that no matter how big you are, it is dangerous to under-estimate the power of social networks.