<% unless FeatureFlag.disable_quantcast? %> <% end %>

The Problem With Cargill

slide
slide
slide
slide
slide
slide
« »


The Problem with Palm Oil

Palm oil is an increasingly controversial commodity derived from the African oil palm tree. Palm oil has emerged as a highly profitable and desirable source of vegetable oil due to its comparatively high yields and cheap price, coupled with the fact that it only grows in tropical forest regions that boast cheap land, cheap labor, weak regulation, and often corrupt governments. National Wildlife Federation found that as of 2007, palm oil comprised the largest share of world production followed by soybean and canola oils. Due to the massive jump in global demand for this oil, there is steadily increasing pressure on tropical forests, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce the vast majority of global output. The U.S., while a relatively small market player at this time, has nevertheless seen a fourfold jump in palm oil imports in the last four years.

Palm oil expansion is a leading cause of forest loss in Indonesia and has a devastating impact on biodiversity, forest-dependant peoples, and the climate. About one third of Indonesia’s peatlands have been allocated to logging, pulp wood and oil palm concessions. Palm oil is used in roughly half of packaged goods found at the grocery store.



Cargill: Trading Away Our Future

Cargill is the largest importer of palm oil into the U.S. and one of the largest traders of controversial palm oil in the world. Despite its global significance, Cargill lacks supply-chain wide safeguards that could ensure that the palm oil it supplies does not drive rainforest destruction. Not only would these safeguards protect endangered species but they would also prevent Cargill from supporting human rights violations such as child labor and illegal land seizures from Indigenous communities.

The multinational agribusiness giant employs 160,000 people and rakes in more than $120 billion in annual revenue. But unlike most companies its size, Cargill's stock isn't traded on any exchange. Instead, Cargill competes with Koch Industries for the position of largest privately held company in the world. In the last decade alone, the Minnetonka-based company has doubled in size, producing a cornucopia of foods and commodities from beef and barley malt to sugar, salt and palm oil.

Although Cargill owns two sets of palm oil plantations, the majority of the company’s profits from palm oil are achieved through its global trading business. According to WWF, Cargill touches 25% of the palm oil on the market globally. Its supply chain is tainted with orangutan extinction, deforestation, climate change, and human rights violations including the use of slave labor.



We Need Your Help

Bring Cargill into the 21st Century by pushing the company to adopt global safeguards on the palm oil it trades, supplies and refines around the world. Together we can convince Cargill to stop delaying and adopt a global palm oil policy that represents real safeguards beyond voluntary systems. Write a letter to CEO Greg Page now.



Learn More

A manmade inferno inside the globally renowned Tripa rainforest in Aceh, Indonesia is pushing this forest’s unique population of Sumatran orangutans to the brink of extinction. Destruction inside palm oil plantation leases is driving the end of this great lowland forest, despite years of efforts by local communities to defend their forests and livelihood.

Recent Blog Posts

Take Action Today

On May 20th, activists will host actions around the globe, calling on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain.

Publications

This report profiles the palm oil plantation practices of one of Malaysia’s biggest palm oil producers, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK).
In rainforests half a world away from the United States, orangutans are making their last stand for survival. Scientists warn that these gentle and intelligent animals, among humankind’s closest kin, could become extinct within our lifetime if their rainforest homes continue to be destroyed for palm oil plantations. But the primary threat pushing them toward extinction lies much closer to home than you may think: you’ll find it hidden in the snack food aisle of your local grocery store, and likely in your own shopping cart.
What is palm oil? Why are rainforests being burned down for palm oil? How can you help stop rainforests from being burned down for palm oil? These are good questions—and we have answers. Here’s everything you need to know about the world’s most widely used edible oil.

Spread the Word

<% unless FeatureFlag.disable_quantcast? %>