Over the past few months, the
political left in Holland has been waging a though and well organized
against palm oil. What’s palm oil, you may ask? Well, palm oil is a
ingredient for a whole range of industrial goods, from soap and washing
to margarine and cooking oil. Palm oil is also used as a bio fuel, both
and in power stations.
During the early years of this
century, the environmental lobby was heavily pushing palm oil as a
clean source of energy. Partly as a result of that, global production
oil has risen so fast that the Greenpeaces of this world have now
rebrand it public enemy number one. Increased production, they claim,
the expense of the rain forest and therefore of the worldwide orang
population. Well, not really of course. As I’ve pointed out before,
of the decrease in the global orang utan population dates back to the
quarter of the 20th century, while production of palm oil
really took off in the first decade of this century. Strictly speaking,
phenomena are completely unrelated. But never mind.
As we all know, the water melons
the environmental movement (green on the outside, red on the inside)
concerned about petty things like the truth. This is about the
continued existence, so if they sometimes misrepresent the facts just a
bit, thatâ€™s just part of the game. The aim was to convince western
stop using Indonesian palm oil. And as usual, they succeeded. After
announced towards the end of last year that it would stop its use of
palm oil, NestlÃ© did the same last month. Both have committed to using
only sustainable (read: approved by enviro-consultants), â€œorang utan
palm oil. To save the planet, of course.
That’s how we know our
multinationals: one little push by the green lobby is all it takes.
the damage to Unilever’s reputation- or that of western
Announcing months later that they
may be willing to consider actual evidence in the form of an
before re-evaluating the decision to suspend using Indonesian palm oil
really do wonders for their reputation either. If theyâ€™re willing to
it now, why weren’t they willing to consider it before they took the
to suspend the contract last December? Or is it part of their corporate
responsibility policy to threaten the livelihood of thousands of
farmers in an
up and coming developing economy through a sort of daisy-picking
will suspend the policy, we won’t suspend the policy. We will suspend
policy, we wonâ€™t suspend the policy. To be honest, I almost
their behaviour. While our multinationals are more than happy to leave
hardworking Indonesian farmers to their fate, our government asks us to
transfer billions to Greece so that the professional protesters in the
of Athens can continue to look forward to retirement at the age of 53.
Here’s a tip for Unilever: try
growing a spine. And stop jumping to attention every time the hyperbole
merchants of the environmental movement ask you to do something.
Right, time for a KitKat.
Source : De Dagelijkse Standard