In a statement, RSPO said that Nestlé was reinstated membership as it has submitted time-bound action plan to achieve 100% RSPO certified sustainable palm oil by 2023.
Following the reinstatement, Nestlé would “focus on preventing deforestation, particularly the protection of peatland and high-carbon stock land, as well as respecting human rights across the value chain,” said Benjamin Ware, Nestlé’s Global Head of Responsible Sourcing.
To do so, Nestlé would “play a leading role within the RSPO”, participating in working groups, and sharing its experiences in addressing critical environmental and socio-economic challenges affecting the sector.
“Transparency in our supply chain has always been a priority. Nestlé has always been committed to implementing responsible sourcing and has made significant progress towards our commitment to using fully responsibly-sourced palm oil,” Ware added.
The food and drink giant was suspended three weeks ago on 27 June for failing to submit the Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) report for two consecutive years.
It also failed to pay an overdue membership fee of €2,000, which is again, a breach of the RSPO Statutes.
However, RSPO has granted a 30-day grace period until 20 July before its RSPO certifications, trade and trademark license cease to be valid.
Other firms which previously faced membership suspension included Malaysian palm oil supplier IOI. It took four months to regain the RSPO certification.
In the case of IOI, it faced condemnation from numerous industry players, including Mars, Unilever and Kellogg's just within 24 hours of the suspension.
More than certification
With the reinstatement of Nestlé, Darrel Webber, CEO of RSPO emphasised that the RSPO is “more than a certification scheme”, but “a commitment scheme.”
He explained that Nestlé is welcomed back to RSPO for it has “pledged to step up their efforts in working actively on solutions within the RSPO system, via active participation.”
He is also “confident” that Nestlé “will live up to our membership obligations and succeed in delivering on their time-bound plan.”
Nestlé currently sources its palm oil mainly from Malaysia, Indonesia, Latin America and West Africa.
It claimed that 48% of total palm oil purchased in 2017 was traceable to its source, and another 58% was responsibly sourced.