Nestle, Kellogg’s and Colgate Palm Oil Supplier Deforested 50 Square Miles Of Peru’s Amazon Rainforest

Peyton Plankton
By Peyton Plankton
Devastation of Peru's rainforest for palm oil.

A leading palm oil supplier for global giants like Nestle, Kellogg’s, and Colgate is under fire for deforestation practices in the heart of Peru’s Amazon, reveals an environmental watchdog’s report. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) pinpointed Ocho Sur and associated entities for clearing over 130 square kilometers of the Ucayali region, a critical conservation area, mainly post-2012.

This landmass, double the size of Manhattan, is vital for the Amazon’s biodiversity.

In response to the allegations, Ocho Sur defended its operations, stating it acquired the necessary environmental permits in 2016 and hasn’t expanded its plantation since. 

The company emphasized its reforestation efforts on barren lands and its dedication to preserving the Amazon’s rich ecosystem. “Ocho Sur backs its commitment to biodiversity and preserving the forest,” the company asserted.

Illegally harvested oil palm trees in Peru.

The report has stirred concerns among the implicated brands. Colgate-Palmolive and Kellanova (Kellogg’s parent company) have pledged to investigate these claims, while Nestle has opted not to comment directly on its association with Ocho Sur but emphasized its general commitment to addressing such allegations.

The revelation draws attention to the complex ties between consumer products and environmental degradation, with deforestation being a significant climate change contributor. The implicated area, recognized for its unparalleled biodiversity, hosts hundreds of tree species, endangered monkeys, and giant anteaters.

Unlike other Amazon regions susceptible to cattle ranching and soy farming, Ucayali’s climate favors palm oil cultivation, although the reported deforestation activities were deemed illegal by the EIA, lacking proper soil studies and land use permits.

Amidst these revelations, Peru’s legislative body has controversially passed a law retroactively legalizing past deforestation, complicating conservation efforts. Colgate-Palmolive clarified it had made indirect purchases from Ocho Sur in 2022, now removed from their 2023 supplier list, and will conduct further investigations.

Similarly, Nestle and Kellanova have stated they are taking steps to ensure their supply chains don’t contribute to environmental harm, with Kellanova noting it has no direct dealings with Ocho Sur but will consult with its suppliers.

This investigation sheds light on the ongoing struggle to balance industrial needs with environmental preservation, urging major brands to scrutinize their supply chains more closely.

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