Pages tagged "Action"

Thanks for an amazing Day of Action!

GDoA_SF_drone2_720x720Thank you! The Global Day of Action was amazing, and PepsiCo absolutely heard your voice loud and clear.

From Kuala Lumpur to San Francisco, Oslo to Cape Town, thousands of activists took a stand on May 20th with their friends, colleagues and families to write their own stories for the future of our food system and our planet. Our demand, a food system without Conflict Palm Oil, is bold, ambitious and urgently needed. Because of your willingness to stand up and demand action, we are driving change through the palm oil supply chain.

Thanks to you, the May 20th Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil was a tremendous success. The stories of actions across the globe are inspiring and the numbers impressive: Over 100 events took place in the US, 38 events were hosted abroad and 700 people said they would attend events around the world. Online, PepsiCo heard from thousands of you—its Facebook pages were flooded, its phone lines filled, and the #InYourPalm message was spread far and wide. The photos from Tuesday’s actions are moving; check out the photo album on our Facebook page (and tag yourself if you're in one)!

For over a year, PepsiCo has refused to adopt a responsible palm oil policy, but just 2 days before the Global Day of Action the snack food giant released a new commitment. It’s not strong enough yet, but it’s a start. Thanks to the powerful work, commitment and creativity that Palm Oil Activists poured into the Day of Action, PepsiCo knows that we won’t back down until it cuts Conflict Palm Oil from its global product lines once and for all.

As I think about what we’re accomplishing, a quote about movements like the one that we are building from from one of my heroes, Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy, keeps coming to mind:

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

Because of you, we are close to a tipping point in our campaign to cut Conflict Palm Oil. Together we are transforming the policies of one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world as well as shifting the paradigm for how palm oil companies operate in Indonesia.Thank you for joining us in demanding healthy, intact rainforests, a world without slave labor and a future in which unique species like elephants and orangutans are thriving.

A special thanks to the Palm Oil Action Team, our group of super activists who were the first to step up and take action online, volunteer to host events, and to help organize the Day of Action. Our movement is getting stronger. You too can step up and join the Palm Oil Action Team here.

Breaking: Global Day of Action Underway!

GDoA_chicagoWe’re winning. Because of you, PepsiCo is reeling. Over 300,000 of you have demanded PepsiCo cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products.

Today, our Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is sweeping the world, ratcheting up the pressure for PepsiCo to break its ties to deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution. A moment ago, RAN unfurled a massive 60 foot banner exposing the impacts of Conflict Palm Oil at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago.

From the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia to cities across Australia and the UK, to the beaches of San Francisco and Brazil, students, families and ordinary people have organized themselves in droves today to send a clear and united message to PepsiCo and its peers: the time to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products is now.

PepsiCo is scrambling—the fact that the snack food giant released a new palm oil commitment just a few days ago is evidence of this. But, it’s not strong enough and lacks safeguards on human rights and a binding, time bound action plan to cut Conflict Palm Oil. NOW is the time to give PepsiCo the final push for real change for forests and the communities that depend on them.  We have PepsiCo's attention.

Now here's how we win:

1. Let’s take over Pepsi’s Facebook page. Cut and paste this message as a comment: #PepsiCo, cut Conflict Palm Oil! The power is #InYourPalm.

2. Let’s make our voice heard on Twitter: Hey @PepsiCo, I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict #PalmOil. The power is #InYourPalm

3. Let’s talk to the people who represent PepsiCo: (+1)(914) 253-2000 Here is a guide to what you can say: “Hi, my name is [your name]. I’m taking part in the Global Day of Action. It concerns me that your company cannot guarantee that it is not using Conflict Palm Oil in its products. PepsiCo must demand responsible palm oil from its suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products. PepsiCo’s taken a step in the right direction by releasing a new palm oil commitment, but a statement of intent is not the same as a binding, time bound responsible palm oil policy. For PepsiCo to meet consumer expectations, it must adopt an action plan to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products that includes full traceability of palm oil back to its source and independently verified safeguards for human rights, forests and peatlands.Thank you” 

Because of YOU we have built a movement to cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply. We're just getting warmed up—thanks for being a part of this. 

Calling Out Conflict Palm Oil Laggards One By One

RAG_Laggards_Better.jpgPepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. But the company has yet to take steps to address its Conflict Palm Oil problem and break the link between the products you buy and rainforest destruction. So hundreds of people in dozens of cities around the world will join next Tuesday’s Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil and demand change from PepsiCo. But other snack food companies are also refusing to deal with their Conflict Palm Oil problem and they are starting to get the individual attention they deserve. 

This week hundreds of people used’s community petition site to demand PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods, H.J. Heinz Company, Campbell Soup Company, and Kraft Foods protect rainforests by cutting Conflict Palm Oil. And they are taking to social media to spread the word. Check out some of their tweets and call out the Conflict Palm Oil laggards yourself by clicking on the links.

Decentralized Actions Ready to Stop Keystone XL

The campaign to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has become a watershed moment in confronting climate change and fossil fuel extraction. So far, more than 94,000 people have signed the Pledge of Resistance, committing to risk arrest, if necessary, to stop the approval of Keystone XL. Since last summer, I’ve been part of RAN’s Pledge training team. We have trained courageous folks from coast to coast to take leadership on more than 100 civil disobedience actions to show President Obama that if he signals he will approve Keystone XL, we’ll reject the pipeline with the largest wave of climate-related civil disobedience in our nation’s history. [caption id="attachment_23646" align="alignnone" width="525"]Keystone XL Protest in Boston. Photo by Kayana Szymczak. Photo by Kayana Szymczak.[/caption] Tens of thousands of activists have pledged to join these actions and risk arrest across the country with peaceful sit-ins at State Dept. offices, federal buildings, corporate offices and other Keystone-related targets in a last-ditch effort to convince President Obama not to approve Keystone XL. We expect Obama’s decision in just a few, short months. The Keystone XL pipeline has energized the environmental movement like never before. The Pledge of Resistance has already trained thousands of activists and built an extensive network to support powerful decentralized actions. We’re engaged and ready for a fierce fight. Now is the time for you to take a stand with us and let your voice be heard. Now is the time to sign the Keystone Pledge of Resistance.

Coming Soon! Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil!

Day_of_Action_2014_EmailThanks to your hard work and consumer pressure, the palm oil industry is on the move. Several of the Snack Food 20 companies we are targeting have already committed to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from their supply chain, or are in the process of doing so. But 5 of the biggest players are still dragging their feet. While they do, the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia continue to burn. We've got their attention, and we know that Pepsi, Kraft, Campbell's, Heinz and ConAgra are feeling the heat. But so far, they have all refused to act.

Now is the time to increase the pressure and push these companies to take a stand for orangutans, the rainforest, and the families who live and work there. That’s why we’re organizing a Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil on May 20. Add your name here and say you’re in!

We are very close to the tipping point. Working together, we have the power to transform our broken food system, force the palm oil industry to respect the rights of workers and forest communities, and protect the rainforest homes of the last wild orangutans. Click here to tell us you’re in, and a RAN staffer or volunteer will be in touch in the coming weeks about taking action!

RAN Rocks Expo West Conference

[caption id="attachment_23422" align="alignleft" width="227"]Conflict Palm Oil giant Cargill at the Natural Food Expo Conflict Palm Oil giant Cargill at the Natural Food Expo[/caption] Health food companies selling products with Conflict Palm Oil are called to address the Orangutan in the room. Last weekend, RAN took the truth on Conflict Palm Oil to the Expo West Natural Foods Conference in Anaheim, CA. A sea of 67,000 natural food industry exhibitors showcased everything from snackfood to health and beauty products. The majority of the companies attending market themselves as organic, vegan, healthy brands - but the truth is, many of them are still using Conflict Palm Oil in their products. If there was any doubt that Conflict Palm Oil and health food don’t mix, keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Weil, who has been writing about the dangers of trans fats for over 20 years, cleared that up during his packed presentation. “It’s important not to confuse healthy, raw palm oil with the highly processed versions that are commonly used in the industrially-produced packaged foods found in most American’s diets. These types of palm oil are unhealthy for the human body. And their irresponsible cultivation in tropical areas is unhealthy for the planet.” Dr. Weil’s statement serves as a warning to health food entrepreneurs who are considering increasing their use of Conflict Palm Oil – do not replace trans fats with Conflict Palm Oil. [caption id="attachment_23424" align="alignleft" width="550"]Raj Patel asks hundreds in to take a stand for orangutans. Hundreds take a stand for orangutans, thanks to Raj Patel.[/caption] For me, the most inspiring moment was when keynote speaker and food movement author Raj Patel called on concerned citizens to stand up to injustice through organized political action, protests, and environmental campaigns - not just through conscious lifestyle choices and consumer purchases. Leading by example, Raj gave Strawberry the Orangutan the floor and collected an #inyourpalm photo petition from the audience. It was a call to join a movement whose influence is greater than what we can achieve through our personal choices. I couldn’t agree more with Raj’s powerful message. It’s your direct communication with corporate giants through Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone calls, stickering, and photo petitions that demonstrates to these companies that they can no longer get away with greenwashing tactics and using Conflict Palm Oil in their products. [caption id="attachment_23425" align="alignleft" width="300"]Michael Franti gets it. Michael Franti gets it.[/caption] Like many Americans, the majority of the food that I was raised on was highly processed, coming directly from a box or a bag directly to the dinner table. As an adult, I strive to eat nutritious and minimally processed foods from my garden or the farmer’s market. I was a lifestyle activist who chose to fight big agribusiness by reading every label, when I began my 6 month internship with RAN. But since joining the Palm Oil Action Team, I have witnessed the true power of collective action and community organizing. It's amazing that thousands of people like me have joined us to fight for an end to Conflict Palm Oil in our food supply. Our collective actions have real power and the more we organize, the stronger we grow, and the more change we drive in the palm oil industry. [caption id="attachment_23426" align="alignright" width="300"]Saxophone in one hand, activism in the other, Karl Denson takes action before taking the stage. Saxophone in one hand, activism in the other, Karl Denson takes action before taking the stage.[/caption] At Expo West, our movement to eliminate the rainforest destruction by Conflict Palm Oil grew stronger and gathered new voices. Musicians Michael Franti of “Michael Franti and Spearhead”, and Karl Denson of “Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe” pitched in. Both Franti and Denson have traveled extensively and seen first hand the devastation that Conflict Palm Oil has caused, and both were excited to take action with us before taking the stage. Check out their #inyourpalm photos! They weren’t alone in taking action - renowned mycologist Paul Stamets and wife Dusty Yao, who believe old growth forests are our greatest resource for medicine, also took a stand for the world’s last wild orangutans. Your voice gives this campaign the power to tell companies that health food and Conflict Palm Oil don’t mix. Whether you are passionate about fixing our broken food system, protecting biodiversity, or preventing forced labor, join Raj Patel, Michael Franti, and thousands of others by uploading your own #inyourpalm photo petition here. [caption id="attachment_23427" align="alignleft" width="225"]Paul Stamets and wife Dusty Yao take a stand against Conflict Palm Oil. Paul Stamets and wife Dusty Yao take a stand against Conflict Palm Oil. "Knowledge is Power!" Dusty's hand reads.[/caption] And to get even further involved, with local actions and more, join me and the rest of the Palm Oil Action Team here. Together, we can cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply.

VIDEO: Thousands Take Action Saying #NOKXL

[caption id="attachment_23152" align="alignleft" width="300"]seattle credo Climate Vigil in Seattle[/caption] On January 31, the U.S. State Department released its final environmental impact statement on Keystone XL. The report was heavily influenced by the oil industry, but it still gave the president everything he needs to reject Keystone XL. Within 72 hours, over 10,000 of us gathered at an astounding 283 vigils for the climate in 49 states to speak out against Keystone XL. It was the biggest rapid-response, on-the-ground demonstration of Obama's presidency. Now, Secretary Kerry will make a recommendation to the President, and the President will make a final decision. This is an all in-moment for the future of our planet. Watch the video of the climate vigils here:


More than 78,000 have already signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, committing to risk arrest, if necessary, to stop Keystone XL and send a message to the President that we must move forward on climate. We must defeat Keystone XL. Join us and take the pledge:

How to Drive Change Through the Palm Oil Supply Chain

[caption id="attachment_23085" align="alignleft" width="300"]Rows of oil palm planted where pristine rainforest recently stood, North Sumartra, Indonesia. Rows of oil palm planted where pristine rainforest recently stood, North Sumatra, Indonesia.[/caption] Over the past ten years, the disappearance of Indonesia's and Malaysia’s most rich, pristine, and biologically diverse rainforests has been accelerating faster than ever. These rainforests are now ground zero for climate change, and the only home of dwindling populations of wild orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants, and countless other life forms. Millions of people also depend on these forests for their survival, but are losing their livelihoods and way of life—all because of high demand for a cheap commodity present in roughly fifty percent of packaged foods: Conflict Palm Oil. Most consumers don’t realize the power they have to help end this crisis. This is what RAN’s latest campaign, The Last Stand of the Orangutan, is seeking to accomplish: emboldening consumers like you to trigger shifts in the industry, an industry that is contributing to the crisis. The way in which RAN seeks to create such a market transformation is through our Theory of Change, which outlines our strategic plan for ending the production of Conflict Palm Oil—a plan that includes you! "Theory of Change" is a term used to describe the roadmap and strategy in which a long-term goal can be achieved. The goal of The Last Stand of the Orangutan campaign is to end deforestation driven by the production of Conflict Palm Oil in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Our campaign is seeking to convince the Snack Food 20, global palm oil traders, and producers to implement palm oil policies that would ensure the production and sourcing of truly responsible, fully traceable palm oil. In order to accomplish these goals, we have identified key actors, stakeholders, and structures that are contributing to the problem (and thus hold the power to remedy it). A critical part of our campaign’s theory of change is to untangle the complex web of actors operating within the global palm oil supply chain. By the time a bar of chocolate made by a Snack Food 20 company, such as Hershey’s, reaches your local grocery store, the palm oil within that chocolate has passed through many different steps along the supply chain, from the plantation where the oil palm fruit was grown to a mill, a refinery, a shipping vessel, another refinery in the US, a food manufacturing plant, and finally a retail outlet. Every actor along the supply chain, from the Snack Food 20 who put palm oil in the chocolate bar to the palm oil traders who buy and ship it and the palm oil producers who grow it, are benefiting from this complex web, as it's hard to distinguish Conflict Palm Oil from truly responsible palm oil. By creating traceable supply chains, companies can learn where their palm oil is grown and readily eliminate known sources of Conflict Palm Oil. Above all, the most important component of our theory of change involves creating market transformation through a step-by-step process that starts with you. Consumers (like you!) that care about the impact the products they enjoy have on the environment and human rights have immense power to create change in the way palm oil is produced. In order to create supply chain transparency, we first need you to demand it from the Snack Food 20—the companies putting Conflict Palm Oil in your favorite products. We want you to call on the Snack Food 20 to adopt and implement responsible palm oil purchasing policies. If enough people do so, companies will listen, because they care a lot about what you think of their brands! [caption id="attachment_23082" align="alignleft" width="300"]Products made by the Snack Food 20 are displayed in front of an area of recently cleared Rainforest in North Sumatra, Indonesia Products made by the Snack Food 20 are displayed in front of an area of recently cleared rainforest in North Sumatra, Indonesia[/caption] Once consumers have the Snack Food 20's attention, these companies will begin to take measures ensuring that their supply of palm oil is not connected to deforestation and human rights violations. With your help, we can get companies to adopt RAN’s demands that they: publicly articulate their commitment to protecting forests, peatlands, biodiversity and the rights of the people who live in and rely on the forests; adopt a global responsible palm oil purchasing policy that requires their suppliers to eliminate sources of Conflict Palm Oil; develop a robust, time-bound implementation plan for the policy; create supply chain transparency and traceability and become advocates for their peers—the traders and producers they buy palm oil from—to do the same. Some companies are already suggesting that they are making a difference by using palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). But sourcing RSPO-certified oil isn’t enough as the RSPO continues to certify companies that are destroying secondary rainforests and peatlands, violating human rights and using forced or child labor. If a few leading brands  adopt RAN’s demands, which go above and beyond the RSPO, this can ignite change throughout the entire palm oil sector. When leaders step up, others follow. The demand for responsible palm oil will grow and provide a significant incentive to end controversial practices. This is the second step in our theory of change. In order to implement their responsible palm oil purchasing policies, the Snack Food 20 must demand that global palm oil traders such as Cargill, Wilmar, IOI, and KLK supply them with truly responsible and traceable palm oil. This will have dramatic effects, as these traders are the linchpins of the world’s palm oil supply and have real buying power with the companies that grow and process palm oil. Companies such as Wilmar control up to 45% of the world’s palm oil supply. So, when traders respond to the demand for responsible palm oil and insist that the palm oil they buy from refineries, mills and producers is fully traceable and not associated with deforestation, expansion on carbon-rich peatlands, or human and labor rights violation, this will radically alter the course of the crisis in Southeast Asia. Making sure that the demand for responsible palm oil reaches producers is highly critical, as producers are at the top of the palm oil supply chain and on the frontlines of deforestation and human rights violations. Only when producers eliminate deforestation and peatland expansion and address human and labor rights issues will they be able to supply responsible palm oil to traders and the Snack Food 20. action_inyourpalm_310x190Our theory of change is one reason why we aren’t calling for a boycott. Besides the fact that palm oil is so ubiquitous that a boycott would be nearly impossible, if our approach is successful, destructive practices will be eliminated as traders and producers change their operations to meet the demands for responsible palm oil. We hope that supporters like you will join us as we create this market transformation. The power is in your palm to protect the last stands of the orangutan. It’s simple, join our Palm Oil Action Team, and upload an #InYourPalm photo petition here that will call on the Snack Food 20 to demand responsible, conflict-free palm oil.

#NOKXL: Thousands Across The U.S. Say “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”

[caption id="attachment_22961" align="alignleft" width="290"]boston Boston, MA. Pic by Adam Greenberg.[/caption] We can’t stop. We won’t stop. Our Indigenous friends and allies in the U.S. and Canada have vowed to not let the “Keystone XL Black Snake” cross their sacred land. In Nebraska, 115 landowners refuse to sign agreements with TransCanada and are willing to engage in civil disobedience. Over 76,000 have pledged to put their bodies on the line in non-violent civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. Tonight, the fight against Keystone XL got very loud from coast to coast as thousands turned out in the towns, cities and neighborhoods to tell Barack Obama that we won’t be standing for his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. 284 events. 49 states plus Washington D.C. and parts of Canada. Over 10,000 turned out. All with on 3 days of mass organizing and outreach. That is powerful stuff.  Obama and the oil industry can only expect more. Here’s some images from tonight’s vigils telling Obama a really clear simple message: NO KXL. [caption id="attachment_22962" align="alignnone" width="500"]Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville, FL[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_22963" align="alignnone" width="500"]New York City New York City[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_22964" align="alignnone" width="500"]Witchita, KS Witchita, KS[/caption]   Check out more vigil photos from across the country in the map below or click here to go straight to the photoset.

An Urgent Request from Indonesian Conservationists

The following post is a guest blog from Indonesian conservationist and RAN ally Tezar Pahlevie. Please watch the brief following video of Tezar speaking to RAN staff from his home province of Aceh in Sumatra, Indonesia from November 2013.


Please take action now to protect the extraordinary Leuser Ecosystem forever! You can read more from Tezar below: Hello, RAG_Tezar_Cropped_500My name is Tezar Pahlevie. This year I was honored by winning the 2013 GRASP Conservation award for my team’s work restoring rainforests damaged by illegal palm oil plantations, but now, a dangerous push from palm oil companies could see all our hard work undone. I write from my home in Aceh, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, because the people and the place I love most are in danger and I urgently need support from people around the world to save them. Please join me in asking the governor of Aceh to protect the world class Leuser Ecosystem by nominating it as a new UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a really scary time for me, because the governor of Aceh has on his desk a disastrous plan that would remove crucial protections from the Leuser Ecosystem, opening up huge areas of some of the world’s most biologically diverse forests to major industrial development. This new plan could be signed by the governor at any time. The six million acre Leuser Ecosystem is home to the densest population of orangutans remaining anywhere and it is the only place where orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos and sun bears live in the same forest together.Nearly four million people depend on the rainforests of the Leuser Ecosytem to provide them with clean water for drinking, irrigation and food production. I am really sad and frustrated because every day and every month I see the destruction of the forests around my home. We in Aceh have experienced the dangerous floods that come after the logging and destroy people’s homes, livelihoods and in some cases, takes the lives of our friends or family. Witnessing all this destruction breaks my heart. We have a different vision for Aceh. We must protect the Leuser Ecosystem and the people who rely on it. The Aceh people have long fought to protect these forests because they provide us with clean water, food and are important for the next generation. It is urgent that the governor of Aceh hears from you now. Just recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identified the Leuser Ecosystem as one of the world’s foremost “irreplaceable areas” that must be protected to preserve biodiversity. I stand with scientists from across the world who are right now calling on the governor of Aceh to protect our forests by nominating the region to become a new UNESCO World Heritage site. It gives me hope that by people across the world calling on the governor, he will listen to the people instead of the companies that want to destroy our forests, and work to find a balance that will protect the forests and the livelihoods of Aceh’s people. Please take action today to automatically send a fax to Governor Dr. Zaini Abdullah asking him to listen to the traditional wisdom of Aceh’s people by supporting the nomination of the Leuser Ecosystem as a new UNESCO World Heritage site. Semangat - keep the spirit, Tezar Pahlevie Conservationist and 2013 GRASP Conservation Award Winner RAG_Leuser_PH_500x500

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