No, You Don’t Have to Stop Eating Nutella; Greenpeace Says It’s OK

Photo: AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan

Greenpeace says French ecology minister Segolene Royal is wrong — Nutella is not destroying the planet and a ban wouldn’t solve the world’s environmental problems.

A couple of day ago Royal went on French television network Canal+ and said that people should stop eating the popular hazelnut spread because harvesting one of its key ingredients, palm oil, leads to deforestation. But environmental activist group Greenpeace has now told news website Quartz that “a blanket boycott of this agricultural crop will not solve problems in its production.

It also told the site that Ferrero, Nutella’s maker, is actually a supporter of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, which includes Greenpeace, other non-governmental organizations, and some palm oil producers.

“[Ferrero has] an ambitious policy to improve its palm oil supply,” says Greenpeace in its statement to Quartz. “We therefore consider Ferrero to be one of the more progressive consumer-facing companies with regards to palm oil sourcing.“

In 2013, Ferrero launched the Ferrero Palm Oil Charter, saying on its website that it had ”a significant role to play in leading the sustainable transformation of the palm oil sector“ and was committed to using palm oil in a responsible way.

France has a love/hate relationship with Nutella. The country consumes 26% of all Nutella produced globally by Italian maker Ferrero. But in 2011 French ministers tried to push through a 300% tax on palm oil because of its deforestation effect and its role in contributing to obesity.

In 2012, however, the draft law — dubbed the "Nutella Law” — was quashed after the French senate rejected the amendment by 186 votes to 155.