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The impact on tropical deforestation from the world trade in agricultural commodities is increasingly well documented. The case of palm oil is emblematic and in recent months has been the subject of intense media attention. In the past five years, many food sector companies, driven by civil society organizations, have thus made increasingly ambitious commitments, aiming to offer consumers guaranteed “zero deforestation” products.

How do these commitments translate on the ground? What are their concrete impacts and limitations? Can they have a transformative effect on the entire industry? How do the commitments of private actors adapt to the current political context? What are the public policies that are today affecting the deployment and effectiveness of these commitments?

This conference aims to shed light on these issues, particularly in the context of recent debates on French biodiversity law, this conference will also analyse the possible links between private commitments and public policies.


    • Jean-Manuel Bluet, Head of Sustainable Development, Nestlé France. He will present the work undertaken by the Nestlé Group and TFT in the palm oil sector: commitments, organizational changes, first results, impact on the sector, etc., with particular emphasis on the factors of success and the challenges experienced.
    • Jérôme Frignet, Program Director, Greenpeace France. He will present the actions taken by Greenpeace from the early 2010s and their effects on the dynamics of the palm oil sector, from the first zero deforestation commitments of GAR and Nestlé until the present day. He will particularly focus on the creation and implementation of the HCS Approach, designed to operationalize zero deforestation policies. 
    • Pierre-Marie Aubert, food and agricultural policies research fellow, IDDRI. He will provide an analysis of the ongoing changes in the palm oil industry. In particular he will discuss the multiplication of commitments by private sector actors and their possible links with national and international public policies. 

    The series of conferences on biodiversity and ecosystems organised by IDDRI and the Fondation d' entreprise Hermès aims to contribute to making biodiversity a real issue for society, by opening up debates beyond purely expert circles.

    It was launched with an inaugural conference on 16 February 2010 at the musée du quai Branly (Paris) entitled "Biodiversity 2010 and beyond? ».