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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tescos use of Palm Oil

Dear Sir Terry,

I am writing to you following the previous correspondence that I had regarding your continued sale of biofuels.

The conclusion of the previous debate that I had with your organisation was that you were going to continue with Greenergy and continue selling biofuels, despite the overwhelming evidence of environmental degradation and human rights abuses that follows in the wake of these developments. Your Andrew Slight stated on 3rd Dec 2008 “Our aim [is to] ensure that our biofuels are responsibly sourced.”

I would also remind you that in the previous correspondence you admitted to using Palm Oil in your biofuels. As you should be aware, this is associated with large scale deforestation and human rights abuses in Indonesia . You previously said that “Greenergy asks suppliers to sign a sustainability commitment as part of their contract. This is monitored and can be audited at any time."However, despite my requests this was never forthcoming.

Given the time that has now passed since the last correspondence, I trust that you are now able to demonstrate your biofuel is responsibility sourced and that you can now provide an appropriately robust audit trail.

I also note that in an Independent report on Palm Oil they quoted your position on palm oil in Tesco’s own brand products, “As members of the RSPO we are committed to the growth and use of sustainable palm oil and already ensure full traceability back to crude palm oil from RSPO members - we are also committed to certified oil and are creating systems to deliver this for the derivatives in our products.”

Given the RSPO is made up of companies dedicated to the expansion of palm oil production and its credibility as an overseer of sustainable practises is zero, your statement does not give any cause for reassurance. However, I would request that you provide full details of the path back to the crude palm oil that you have referenced.

So that you are in no doubt of the seriousness of this issue, I refer you to the recent documentary that the Community Channel showed, Lost in Palm Oil.

To help you in developing your audit trail, over the next couple of weeks we will be documenting all the products on your shelves that contain Palm Oil products.


Kevin Lister

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