15/05/2008 (Greenpeace) - International—Unilever has shown that beauty isn’t just skin deep. Following our campaign and thanks to your support, the company has taken the bold step to support our call for a moratorium on cutting down trees in Indonesia for palm oil plantations.
With our gallant activists barely out of their orang-utan suits, and with our Dove parody running on YouTube for a mere two weeks, we were somewhat taken aback by the sheer speed with which our campaign has met with success! Sometimes it takes a lot longer to make a company, corporation or government see the error of its ways.
But our work is not yet done! Palm oil is used for a wide range of products – from toothpaste to margarine, and from washing powders to soaps. Following our meeting with Unilever last week, agreements on what needs to happen next are now taking shape. Even though Unilever is the biggest buyer of palm oil, it represents only three percent of palm oil purchasers. The moratorium will need support from other companies if we want to see real change in Indonesia.
Unilever has agreed to rise to the challenge and lead the way, building a coalition of allies to put pressure on palm oil suppliers in Indonesia to agree to the moratorium. This includes lobbying all the major players in the industry, including Kraft, Nestlé, Cadburys, Cargill and Proctor & Gamble.
Over the coming months, we’ll be meeting with companies and urging them to join Unilever in supporting the moratorium and stopping deforestation and the release of greenhouse gases that fuel climate change. This coalition of influential players in the palm oil industry – together with the support of palm oil suppliers and the Indonesian government - is key to getting the moratorium in place as soon as possible.
There's still a long way to go to ensure that the climate is protected from further deforestation, that the bulldozers leave the rainforest and that orang-utans are saved from extinction in the wild. We'll be keeping you updated - and we'll be letting you know if we need your help again to put pressure on any company that may need a bit of an incentive to support the moratorium!