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Rainforest Action Network Activists Deliver Over 100,000 Petitions to Cargill Headquarters; Protest Company’s Continued Buying and Selling of ‘Conflict’ Palm Oil and its Role in Orangutan Extinction

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Group Announces Launch of National Tour Targeting Cargill Customers
Monday, September 9, 2013

 

 

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 9 2013

 

Contact: Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161

Wayzata, MN- Costumed orangutan advocates staged a colorful protest at Cargill’s Wayzata headquarters today, hand delivering 103,642 petition signatures to the company. The petitions ask Cargill, the largest importer of palm oil in the country, to stop supplying ‘conflict’ palm oil to its customers. Conflict palm oil is used in more than 50 percent of manufactured goods on grocery store shelves and contributes to rainforest destruction, species extinction, human rights violations and climate chang

The activists today also announced the launch of national tour called “The Power is in Your Palm,” which will visit the hometowns of many of Cargill’s largest corporate customers to pressure them to address their use of palm oil, and the escalating crisis its causing. Cargill has been the focus of pressure from environmental and human rights groups for many years.

“For years, Rainforest Action Network has made clear that Cargill has major, systemic problems in its palm oil supply chain,” said Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network. “Unfortunately, Cargill’s recently released Corporate Sustainability Report only repeats past commitments that fail to reduce the company’s high risk of buying and selling conflict palm oil. At this time, Cargill cannot guarantee that the palm oil it supplies to major snack food companies is not associated with rainforest destruction, child and forced labor, increased climate emissions and the loss of endangered orangutan habitat.”

This event comes on the heels of controversy over Cargill’s connection to forced and child labor on palm oil plantations in Borneo. A July article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported the results of a nine month investigation by the Schuster Institute of Investigative Journalism that documented widespread cases of forced and child labor on palm oil plantations in Cargill’s supply chain. Responding to the article, Cargill defended its supplier but said it “took the allegations very seriously” and would investigate. However, no further public action has since been taken by the company and the abuses continue.

Today’s petition delivery follows months of continuous protest activities in the Lake Minnetonka region as well as a robust local advertising campaign featuring orangutans orphaned by palm oil plantation expansion. Cargill security and Minnetonka police have detained orangutan mannequins holding protest signs on at least three occasions. One mannequin on a park bench in Wayzata held a sign that said “Home Destroyed by Cargill. Will Work for Habitat.” Another placed high in a tree outside Cargill’s main executive offices read “Help! Home Destroyed for Palm Oil by Cargill and CEO Greg Page.”

The petition signatures delivered today were collected by Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Rescue and Causes.com.

For more information visit TheProblemWithPalmOil.org

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org

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