Did you know today is World Nutella Day?
It has its own hashtag #WorldNutellaDay, as thousands and thousands of people are discussing it on Twitter. Mostly about how they love eating it.
But with all hashtags it allows a wider discussion. In this case many are suggesting Nutella should be boycotted. Or at least Nutella should find an alternative ingredient to use instead of palm oil, because palm oil is associated with deforestation. As rainforests in Asia and the habitats within them are cleared for palm oil plantations, with this palm oil being used in many food and healthcare products we all buy everyday.
So ban palm oil, right? No!
Palm oil isn’t the problem – how it is produced is. It’s actually a high yield crop, so replacing it with an alternative would cause far more cleared forests. Of course, that’s not to say there isn’t an issue here – there is. There needs to be a drive to responsibly produced palm oil, which means palm oil that is produced which does NOT harm the environment or the local communities working and living within it. So is this possible? Yes, it is
TFT is working with many palm oil companies helping them to implement their No Deforestation commitments. Ferrero, which owns the Nutella brand, is one of them. They’re doing great work too. Only last year we had Nutella-gate, where French Environmental Minister Ségolène Royal urged for people to boycott Nutella, when the irony is if all companies operated like Nutella and Ferrero the palm oil industry and the world’s forests would be in much better shape.
What can we do to make things better?
So yes, there is an issue with palm oil. It is causing deforestation. But many brands like Ferrero are tackling this. This leads us to the other issue, which is transparency. There’s a clear consumer misunderstanding where palm oil is concerned. That’s why those in the agribusiness sector, especially those in communications like myself, need to further push transparency and continue to help brands like Ferrero to tell the story of how they have traced their palm oil supply chain and how they are progressing in implementing their No Deforestation policy.