I tend to think of shareholder meetings as being rather stodgy—a bunch of suits, hours of talking. But add some apes into the mix, and you’ve got my attention. Orangutans descended on a Nestle shareholders’ meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland last week in protest of unsustainable palm oil in the company’s candy bars. Not real orangutans, but Greenpeace activists dressed in remarkably life-like costumes.
The action is the latest development in Greenpeace’s campaign against Nestle supporting companies that are degrading the orangutan’s home.
|It began last month with Nestle censoring a Greenpeace video critical of the company's links to Indonesian supplier Sinar Mas, a major player in the ongoing loss of Southeast Asia's rainforests. It was a big mistake on Nestle's part, since the original YouTube video had less than 1,000 views and public outcry probably would have remained relatively manageable if Nestle had not reacted the way it did. Undeterred, Greenpeace reposted the banned video on Vimeo instead - which has now garnered 1.3 million views.
In response to last month's events, Nestle has already dropped Sinar Mas as a supplier, but continues to be indirectly supplied by Sinar Mas through other multinationals like Cargill. Though Nestle has pledged to use only certified sustainable palm oil by 2015, critics say that five years will critically harm an orangutan population already in serious decline.
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