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Activists 'drop' in to Nestlé shareholder meeting

Feature story - 15 April, 2010
Thirty activist 'orang-utans' greeted shareholders as they arrived for Nestle's Annual General Meeting today asking them to give Indonesia's rainforests a break and stop profiting from destroying rainforest, threatening biodiversity and accelerating climate change.

Inside the meeting itself Greenpeace activists dropped from the ceiling and unfurled two large banners directly over the heads of shareholders. We want shareholders to use their influence to change Nestle's policies and stop using palm oil and pulp and paper products from destroyed rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands.

Since the launch of our Kit Kat campaign (March 17th), 200,000 people have sent e-mails to Nestlé and hundreds have called them. Today hundreds more are addressing them and their shareholders online - we invited Nestle shareholders to receive messages during the AGM directly from online supporters of our campaign by visiting http://www.greenpeace.org/kitkat - where they will also be able to watch the Kit Kat video that launched the campaign and has now been viewed over 1.3 million times. 

Give them a break!

Activists dressed as orang-utans demanded a break from Nestle as shareholders entered their AGM meeting.

Our International Head of Forests Campaigns, Pat Vendetti, made a short address directly to shareholders. He urged them to ensure that Nestle stop purchasing products from rainforest destruction. The company is not only driving climate change and biodiversity loss if it continues, but it is also damaging its corporate reputation

Earlier in the day German activists gathered at Nestle's headquarters in Frankfurt where they erected a 'Twitter wall' displaying tweets from online supporters at Nestle employees as they arrived for work.

Following the launch of the Kit Kat campaign, Nestle publicly announced that it would cancel its direct contracts with Indonesia's biggest palm oil supplier, Sinar Mas, because it has a long history of environmental abuse. These cancellations did not really give the rainforests a break, because Nestle continues to use Sinar Mas palm oil, as well as Sinar Mas pulp and paper products, via other suppliers like Cargill and Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of Sinar Mas.

Dying for a chocolate bar

Sinar Mas destroys orang-utan habitat to make way for palm oil plantations.

Each day that Nestle allows Sinar Mas products in it's supply chain, it links itself to the rampant destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands. Today we have published new satellite and photographic evidence showing that Sinar Mas continued to destroy peatlands and other conserved areas in Indonesia despite making a commitment in February to stop. Nestle is condoning this destruction by not acting immediately to remove all Sinar Mas products from its supply chains.

Deforestation is a major cause of climate change. It is so rampant in Indonesia that the country is the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter. To avert catastrophic climate change we must end deforestation - to begin with we need an immediate moratorium on destroying Indonesia's rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands.