Pages tagged "Agribusiness"

2014: A Breakthrough Year for Protecting Global Forests

2014 will long stand out as a breakthrough moment in RAN’s history. This is the year when our long term work reached a turning point and began to achieve truly systemic change,  transforming the destructive way palm oil is produced, traded and sold worldwide. 

We are always cautious and skeptical about corporate commitments, and in many ways the hard work of turning promises into action begins now, but it is fair to say that a new global benchmark has been set for responsible palm oil production in 2014. Significantly, all the major new policies secured this year that meet that new benchmark include hard fought standards for human and labor rights,as well as climate pollution, alongside their deforestation commitments.

This is huge! And it could not have happened without you.

The rapid succession of high profile responsible palm oil commitments achieved this year are the direct result of years of unrelenting campaigning and tireless support from people all over the world. Millions of emails, thousands of phone calls, hundreds of actions, dozens of high-impact media stories and countless hours of intensive, behind-the-scenes corporate negotiations and stockholder engagement finally convinced many of the biggest multibillion dollar players in the international palm oil industry to commit to cut their ties to deforestation, human rights abuses and carbon pollution.

Huge amounts of work still needs to be done, and we will continue to push hard to make sure these corporate pledges create the much-needed real change on the ground. But it must be said that this stunning and celebrated shift was almost unimaginable just a few years ago. 

And that’s not all! Here’s a sampling of some of the other major forest program milestones achieved by RAN in 2014:

-   Transforming Cargill!After seven years of shifting tactics and non-stop pressure, agribusiness giant Cargill’s CEO announced one of the most far-reaching zero-deforestation commitments ever established. This commitment covers Cargill's sprawling global empire of commodities, including palm oil, sugar, soy, cattle, and cocoa.

-   Getting Rainforest Destruction “Out of Fashion!”This year, RAN launched Out of Fashion: a campaign for forest-friendly fabrics, putting the “Fashion 15,” group of big name brands, on notice that forests across the world are being destroyed to create the fabrics we wear every day, and it stops now.

-   Cutting Conflict Palm Oil Out of Our Snacks!We took on the top 20 snack food companies and to date, 10 of these corporate giants have made commitments to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from their supply chains. One of the biggest remaining laggards, PepsiCo, is squarely in our sights and is already feeling strong pressure to do the right thing.

-   Global Action for Global Good! On May 20th, the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil became the largest such effort in RAN’s 30 year history, generating over 130 events hosted by thousands of activists from all over the world.

-   Protecting the “Last Place on Earth!”This November, RAN released The Last Place on Earth -- a detailed and deeply researched report drawing a line in the sand to stop the destruction of the extraordinary Leuser Ecosystem, one of the most biodiverse landscapes on earth. The report implicated dozens of companies by name and produced immediate responses and supply chain action by two of the world’s biggest palm oil producing companies.

-   Holding the Line on Asia Pulp and Paper!APP, long one of the world’s most notorious forest destroyers and a target of hard hitting RAN campaigning for many years, passed a landmark Forest Conservation Policy in early 2013. But as always, the devil is in the details and RAN has been busy this year keeping an eagle eye on APP to hold the company accountable as it begins to implement its new policy. Our efforts have helped secure major new commitments that expand the scope of APP’s policy along with a pledge to restore or conserve millions of acres. We have also  worked closely with local allies to train and support communities  working with APP to reclaim their land rights.  

The threats facing the world’s forests, our climate, and all the people who depend on them are enormous and can be daunting. But as we look ahead into 2015 we feel a new sense of momentum to our work and a bigger, stronger network of allies and activists than ever before.

With your continued support, we will come out swinging in the new year and double down in our efforts to defend the world’s forests from destruction and hold the world’s largest companies responsible for the severe consequences of their business practices.

Thank you and stay tuned for more to come!

Ginger Cassady 

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.

Join the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil: The Power is #InYourPalm

I recently heard Jane Goodall speak about the importance of having hope in a time when our planet’s natural systems teeter on the brink of collapse. She compared climate change to a titanic ship that takes a while to build up momentum, but once it gains speed, it may be too huge and too fast to turn to avoid the iceberg in its path. We’re currently on that ship - all of humanity, together. Which means that our children’s future depends on the choices you and I make today. We can either quickly respond to the signs all around us that point to climate catastrophe and jump on board this “all hands on deck” moment to stop climate change or we can idly stand by and watch our ship sink.

As a new mom, slowing climate change by protecting our tropical forests – the largest greenhouse gas storage tank in the world -- and transforming our broken industrial food system, is more important and more personal to me than ever before. There is nothing like the love and fierce protection a mother feels for her children, which is why in honor of Mother’s Day I am taking matters into my own hands to fight for the world that my son will inherit, starting in my own kitchen.

How can I tackle climate change from my very own kitchen, you may ask? By joining the Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil on May 20.


Our food and our climate are inextricably linked. About 75% of global palm oil is used in food products and cooking, and roughly 90% of it is grown in Indonesia & Malaysia, where the scale of destruction is so large that it is having globally significant impacts on the climate, similar in scale to the world’s biggest coal and tar sands projects. Deforestation in Indonesia is responsible for some 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the combined emissions from all the millions of cars, trucks, trains, and buses in the U.S. each year combined.

Are you feeding your family Conflict Palm Oil? It’s a hidden ingredient in the foods most of us are feeding our families every day that is enslaving children, killing endangered orangutans, and destroying the rainforest. America's snack makers are putting Conflict Palm Oil in everything from baby formula to kids’ snacks, and Rainforest Action Network has put them on notice that this practice must stop.

Take, for instance, PepsiCo - the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. PepsiCo is the biggest and most influential of the Snack Food 20 companies that has yet to take steps to address its Conflict Palm Oil problem. PepsiCo has the power to break the link between the products you buy and rainforest destruction, but they won’t until you, the consumer, demand it.

Moms and Dads, in honor of Mother’s day, will you join me in asking one of the largest makers of kids snacks, PepsiCo, to do the right thing and cut Conflict Palm Oil from the food we’re feeding our families every day? We have a powerful voice. Pepsi will listen if we speak! There is a way to get palm oil that doesn't enslave children and make orangutans extinct.

Working together, we have the power to win a tremendous victory for people and the planet by challenging business as usual and forcing the palm oil industry to respect the rights of workers and communities, protect orangutan habitat and the rainforests that play a crucial role in combating climate change. We can break the link between deforestation, human rights violations and the foods our families eat everyday.

On May 20, mothers, fathers, teachers, and youth around the world will be hosting photo actions around the globe, calling on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain. We believe that the power is #InYourPalm and when you speak PepsiCo will have no choice but to listen. This is why we are asking everyone to host an action that includes the words #InYourPalm. All you have to do is take a photo of your action so we can send it to PepsiCo and demand change. With your help, these actions can be a catalyst for change at PepsiCo and throughout the entire snack food industry.

These actions may be big or small, in parks, on college campuses, homes, or at Pepsi branded locations around the world. They will each be unique, but they'll have a two things in common: they will include #InYourPalm in some way, shape or form and will connect local activists around the globe who are united in a goal to end rainforest destruction and human rights violations caused by the production of Conflict Palm Oil for PepsiCo's snacks foods.

Will you join me? Together we can convince PepsiCo to prioritize the future of our children and cut Conflict Palm Oil to save orangutans from extinction!

RAN Stands With Jaka. Will You?

CPO_720x720 Jaka, pictured here, was 14 years old when he began working on the palm oil plantation. 

My name is Ratri Kusumohartono, and I've traveled here from Indonesia to bring the story of palm oil to the top executives of PepsiCo at the company's annual shareholder meeting. I work for Sawit Watch, which means “Palm Oil Watch” in Indonesian. We are one of Indonesia's leading palm oil advocacy groups, working directly with palm oil laborers who are fighting for decent working conditions and local communities who are resisting or who have lost their forest and livelihoods to large-scale oil palm expansion.

I need you to stand behind me as I tell PepsiCo about the real costs of Conflict Palm Oil. Will you add your voice to mine?

Palm oil expansion isn’t just about deforestation and ecosystems; it’s also having a huge impact on the communities that live here. I've seen these impacts on communities and workers first hand. Last year, I travelled to a palm oil plantation in East Kalimantan to see if workers were being treated fairly. I was faced with a stark reality. I met a 16 year old boy, Jaka, who had been working in the plantation for over two years. At 14, Jaka left his hometown because he was given false promises of a high salary and good living and working conditions. After traveling over a thousand miles by boat, plane and bus to arrive at the plantation, Jaka found a very different reality than what he was promised. But by the time he realized he had been deceived, he was trapped in debt to the labor recruiter, far from home, and the company did not even provide an adequate supply of clean water and food. The conditions were so poor that Jaka had to drink and bathe from the trench where the plantation’s waste runs.

This is why Conflict Palm Oil is able to be sold so cheaply to snack food companies like PepsiCo. 14 year old boys like Jaka are bearing the real costs of palm oil production. This is not OK, it has to stop.

Please, stand with me, with Jaka, and with all of the affected communities whose homes and lands are threatened, who have had their land stolen in land grabs, or worse, have suffered violence and injury at the hands of the palm oil companies.

Jaka is not alone. His story is only one example of the exploitation and devastation that Conflict Palm Oil is causing for communities, workers and forests across Indonesia. PepsiCo needs to adopt a global responsible palm oil policy that requires all the palm oil it sources to be fully traceable, legally grown, and free of deforestation, peatland destruction and human and labor rights violations.

Working together on the ground in Indonesia and in the markets in the U.S, PepsiCo will hear our message. Call on PepsiCo to cut Conflict Palm Oil.


Ratri Kusumohartono

Guest Blog: Rudi Putra, Winner of the 2014 Goldman Prize for Forest Protection in Indonesia

The Sumatran Rhino is one of the most endangered species on our planet.The message below comes to you from Rudi Putra, a longtime ally and hero of RAN’s and winner of the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize—the world’s most prestigious award for grassroots environmental activism.

My name is Rudi and I feel like the luckiest person alive. I grew up in a place teeming with wild orangutans, elephants, tigers, sunbears and Sumatran rhinos. My family and I lived in balance with the mountains, forests and rivers surrounding us. From an early age, I knew I had to take care of the beauty that surrounded me. But as huge multi-national companies expand their reach and palm plantations spread, I know that I can't protect these pristine places alone.

That’s why I’m asking you to join me in telling PepsiCo to eliminate the Conflict Palm Oil from its products.

I have worked much of my life to protect the 6.4 million acres of prime tropical rainforests in the Leuser Ecosystem. I fell in love with the Sumatran rhino, the smallest and the most critically endangered rhino of all—and have spent years tracking, researching and protecting these special creatures from poachers. I have left my home in Indonesia to come to yours to deliver a very important message.

I need your help to protect the last rhinos and rainforests of Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem from Conflict Palm Oil.

I have witnessed vast areas of forests destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, forests I knew were the homes of endangered species. I’ve removed traps from the forest corridors used by the last Sumatran elephants and tigers. I have even found animals poisoned, speared, and burned alive by poachers and plantation workers. And still, the plantations keep growing across Aceh, always feeding the demand for Conflict Palm Oil.

It must stop. We must protect the world's rainforests. We must stop powerful and wealthy international corporations from exploiting and destroying irreplaceable Indonesian ecosystems for profit. My community and I work tirelessly to shut down and destroy illegal palm oil plantations inside the federally protected Leuser Ecosystem, using chainsaws and uprooting illegal oil palms. We do this to protect our families from the floods that result from the destruction of the forests on the hillsides that surround our homes. But we can not do this alone. We need your help.

It is with great honor that I am here in the US and receiving the Goldman Prize. But it is an even greater honor to know that YOU will stand with me and hold PepsiCo to account for the impact of its products.

For the rhino’s and our life,

Rudi Putra

RAN supported Rudi’s work with a small grant through our Protect-an-Acre program, which funds projects led by Indigenous and frontline communities around the world fighting to protect millions of acres of forest and keep millions of tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, while defending their right to self-determination.

It’s Your Turn PepsiCo: Time to Take the Conflict Palm Oil Challenge

RAG_PepsiCocropped_Chicago_500x427This week marks an exciting turning point in the ambitious international effort to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil connected to rainforest destruction, human rights abuses and climate pollution from our food supply. Thanks to the hard work and consumer pressure created by RAN supporters and our allies - that’s you, dear reader - the palm oil industry as a whole is finally on the move. Several of the “Snack Food 20” companies that RAN put on notice a year ago about their Conflict Palm Oil problem, including Mars, Kellogg, and General Mills have recently responded by strengthening their palm oil commitments, policies and sourcing practices.

This is huge.

But PepsiCo - the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world and the most influential of the Snack Food 20 companies yet to take action to address its Conflict Palm Oil problem – remains a major laggard falling further and further behind its peers.

PepsiCo is a global consumer of Conflict Palm Oil for its snack food brands in the US, Mexico, Latin America, Asia and Europe, yet it still has no truly responsible palm oil purchasing policy. This means while PepsiCo consumes more than 450,000 metric tons of palm oil annually, the company cannot ensure its customers that its products do not contain Conflict Palm Oil. Which is why today, PepsiCo is being singled out for its continued use of large quantities of Conflict Palm Oil by a wide range of groups that includes Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously project, Rainforest Action Network, the global consumer watchdog group and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

RAN’s very own Lafcadio Cortesi appears in the premiere episode of Showtime’s dramatic new climate series, where he walks Harrison Ford down the aisle of an American grocery store and explains how Conflict Palm Oil is destroying Indonesia’s forests and peatlands while displacing Indigenous communities. At the end of the second episode of this star studded show, viewers are directed to the Years of Living Dangerously website where PepsiCo is targeted for its outsized role contributing to deforestation. Showtime viewers are invited to call out PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi to publicly respond to the question: “Deforestation from palm oil is a leading driver of climate change. How can you ensure your customers that your supply chains do not contribute to this ongoing problem?” With this kind of exposure, now is the time for us to raise our voices together and make sure that PepsiCo hears from every one of us.

Please add your name to join RAN, Years of Living Dangerously, and thousands of people around the world demanding change at PepsiCo.

The global palm oil industry is fast approaching a tipping point and PepsiCo’s global scale and influence gives it a crucial role to play in finally eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from our food supply. We've got PepsiCo’s attention, and we know the company is feeling the heat. Now it is crucial that we increase the pressure to push PepsiCo over the edge to take a stand for the climate, orangutans, the rainforest, and the families who live and work there.

Thank you for your vital support - we cannot win this important, high stakes fight without you.

Key PepsiCo Facts and Statistics:

Annually, PepsiCo uses enough palm oil to fill Pepsi cans that would reach around the earth 4 times.

Annual Revenue: $65.5 billion in 2012 (50% from international)

Chairman and CEO: Indra K. Nooyi

Countries of Operation: PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. Sold in over 200 countries; Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa

Biggest use of palm oil: Mexico, 40% of PepsiCo’s palm oil use

Total Global Annual Palm Oil Usage (2013): 457,200 metric tons

Known Palm Oil Suppliers: PepsiCo sources palm oil products originating in SE Asia from Cargill, Wilmar, and AarhusKarlshamn (AAK) and originating from plantations in southeast Mexico (Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz) and Guatemala from Oleofinos of Mexico.

Regions of Impact: The top 3 countries where PepsiCo sources its palm oil from are Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico.

Best Known PepsiCo Brands using palm oil globally: Frito-Lay including Lay’s and Cheetos, Chitato, Qtela and Gamesa.

Best Known PepsiCo products in the US using palm oil: Quakers Big Chewy Granola Bar, Quaker Oats Granola Bites, Quaker Oats Banana Nut Bread, Frito Lay Munchies Flaming Hot, Frito Lays Grandma’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. Facts got you ticked off? Make sure you take action here. 

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.

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