‘NUTELLA-GATE’ has soured relations between France and Italy with French environment minister Segolene Royal having to offer “a thousand apologies” for her call to boycott one of Italy’s most popular exports.
Royal had suggested people should avoid the chocolate spread because manufacturer Ferrero uses palm oil in its production, which the minister said contributed to deforestation.
In an interview with Canal+ on Tuesday June 16, Royal said: “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming. We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil.”
Three years ago, the French government rejected a motion that would have added a 300 per cent tax to products using palm oil.
Ferrero responded to Royal, saying their palm oil was sourced responsibly. Italian politicians have also leapt to the defence of the spread, the country’s environment minister stating he would be having “bread and Nutella for dinner.”
Royal retracted her boycott call via twitter today, highlighting the progress made by the company in using sustainable palm oil sources.