Despite state-wide flood warnings, the skies opened for just enough time to allow five RAN activists to hang two billboard sized banners off of a 3rd street skyway during morning rush hour today, calling attention to Cargill’s continuing role in the destruction of some of the world’s last remaining rainforests. Reading: “Cargill: #1 Supplier of Rainforest Destruction,” the banners were clearly visible from Cargill’s downtown office in the Grain Exchange.
Five brave activists were arrested and are currently in jail.
Cargill’s refusal to meet the growing demand for responsible palm oil in the US is surprising as several US food companies have made public commitments to stop buying palm oil from suppliers like SMART (part of Sinar Mas Group) and set ambitious goals to source responsibly produced palm oil. Although Cargill has made some initial steps towards the provision of segregated RSPO certified palm oil in Europe, it has failed to do so in the U.S., ignoring the requests of its customers and consumers.
RAN has kept Cargill under fire for its palm oil supply chain for over two years. Although the company has recently taken steps to assess its own plantations and supply chain, Cargill has brushed off promises to cancel from PT SMART (Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology), a supplier frequently pointed to as one of the worst palm oil companies. SMART has been documented clearing and burning rainforests, forcing communities from their lands and destroying peatlands, carbon intensive landscapes whose destruction is widely considered to be some of the worst contributors to climate change.
SMART was censored this morning by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for “serious non-compliance.”
Cargill is the largest importer of palm oil into the United States, and their palm oil ends up in most US food company supply chains. It’s unacceptable that they are continuing to buy and trade palm oil from some of the worst known suppliers of palm oil. Cargill can and should take action now to protect the world’s remaining rainforests.
“Americans want to see palm oil that isn’t destroying rainforests or orangutans,” said Ashley Schaeffer of RAN. “Cargill is flat out failing to meet the growing demand to put in standards to protect rainforests.”
RAN has been running market campaigns to reduce the impact of American purchases of palm oil on the Indonesian rainforest since 2007.
More information on RAN’s palm oil campaigns can be found at www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org