Pages tagged "Forests"

Quaker Oats: Not so wholesome after all

PepsiCo would have you believe that its brand Quaker Oats puts “wholesome goodness in everything we do.” We highly doubt that.

That Quaker Oats Chewy Bar in your child’s lunch? Well, we’re not sure if its full of wholesome goodness, but it certainly may be full of Conflict Palm Oil.

With your help, we’ll set the record straight. Share this video now on Facebook and Twitter to let other families know that there’s more in Quaker Oats than meets the eye.

PepsiCo, and its product line Quaker Oats, is a major user of Conflict Palm Oil. Conflict Palm Oil drives species extinction, human rights abuses, deforestation, and climate change, and is the cause of one of the world’s greatest environmental catastrophes.

PepsiCo, the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world, spends huge amounts of money on advertising every year, trying to convince moms and dads that Quaker Oats is a brand that we can trust, yet they are unwilling to spend a few extra pennies to help save orangutans from extinction and keep children out of slave labor conditions.

As a globally recognized brand with an immense international reach, PepsiCo’s weak commitments and half measures are unacceptable. As mothers and fathers, we watch the future develop before our eyes every day. We know that our kids deserve better.

PepsiCo needs to start taking this issue seriously and cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products now!

Help us hold PepsiCo accountable for their actions. We need you to tell PepsiCo that you won’t be fooled by its advertising, and will keep Conflict Palm Oil out of your cupboards.

Share this video now on Facebook and Twitter and tell PepsiCo, “You’re in a Time Out!”

The Oscars Fashion Police: Deforestation Edition

With the Oscars now behind us, Rainforest Action Network is doing some fashion policing of its own.

While all the nominees and winners looked fabulous, those gorgeous clothes can have a serious impact on forests and human rights. Controversial fabrics such as rayon, viscose, Tencel, lyocell, and modal are leaving their mark--not on the red carpet, but on endangered forests--and creating serious impacts for Indigenous communities.


Congrats, Rosamund - but we're worried about how that dress was made...


In order to address this, luxury brands like Prada, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and Vince need to do the right thing and take responsibility for the consequences caused by their clothing.


Miles Teller had a great year with Whiplash - but forests worldwide did not.


That means stepping up with a forest friendly policy, one that traces the fiber used in their fabrics back to where it was grown, and eliminates suppliers found responsible for human rights abuses and deforestation - companies like Royal Golden Eagle Group and its subsidiaries like Sateri.


Emma Stone freaked out over her Oscar nomination for Birdman. But what she may not know is that those clothes could be connected to the theft of Indigenous land for fabric production, and that's truly freaky. 


After thousands took action on social media last week, and hundreds of activists have been busy stickering clothing tags with deforestation warning labels across the country, luxury brands are starting to take notice.


We're glad to see Michael Keaton again. Unfortunately, many forests are gone forever, pulped and turned into fabric by big fashion names like Ralph Lauren.


We need to keep the pressure on. It’s past time for these companies to make real commitments to eliminate controversy from their supply chains. Doing so would send a powerful message, and make a huge impact for forests and the people who depend on them.

Click here to add your voice and ask luxury companies to be leaders when it comes to forests and human rights. Join the campaign now.

Forest Team Volunteer at RAN (SF)

Protect endangered forests while learning valuable skills as a Rainforest Action Network Forest Team Volunteer in San Francisco!

Why volunteer with RAN?

  • Halt the destruction of our planet’s last ancient forests
  • Stop the oppression of Indigenous communities and forest peoples
  • Empower supporters and activists across the country to take action
  • Learn valuable skills such as campaign planning, research, grassroots organizing, time management, and much more.

What type of work will you be doing?

Working directly with our Forest Campaign Team on the Out of Fashion and Conflict Palm Oil campaigns, Forest Volunteers will develop organizing skills through a variety of different and fun activities, such as:

  • Phone organizing to engage RAN activists around the U.S. to participate in actions and tactics 
  • Participating in and/or organizing local (and fun!) creative actions, events and tactics
  • Supporting RAN staff in various projects including:
    • campaign organizing
    • research
    • mailings to supporters

We love it when our volunteers are working on projects that they are passionate about. If you have an idea or skill that you’d like to share with RAN, let us know about it.

What will you gain from this position?

As a RAN Forest Volunteer, you are given the opportunity to work directly with experienced campaigners and staff, participate in organizing and skills trainings led by staff, and gain hands-on-learning experience working in a non-profit office.

Because this is a volunteer position, your time commitment is completely up to you. Whether you are available twice a month or 10 hours per week, we are grateful for your support and commitment to RAN’s work. Once you sign up to be a Forest Team Volunteer, we will email you periodically to inform you of the different volunteer opportunities available--it’s then up to you to choose which activities to participate in.

Sign up now to be a RAN Forest Team Volunteer and we will inform you on how you can start participating! If you have any questions please email or (please put Forest Team Volunteer in the subject line of your email). We look forward to working with you!

Forest Destruction for Fashion Week?

When Rainforest Action Network launched our latest campaign, Out of Fashion, last September, few knew about the ugly secret hiding in beautiful clothes from luxury designers. Since then, thousands of activists have taken action urging companies to cut this destructive habit and lead on forests and human rights. From pledging not to buy rainforest destruction for the holidays, to stickering the tags of big name clothing brands, RAN supporters are calling on the Fashion 15 to eliminate destruction from their supply chains and be leaders on forest protection.

This week, we’ve got a huge opportunity to help end deforestation and human rights abuses for fabric production, and we need your help.

This week is Fashion Week in New York, a time where the biggest luxury designers in the world come together to show off their new collections. It’s a big deal in the fashion world, and that makes it a key moment for our Out of Fashion Campaign. We need to make absolutely sure that part of the discussion and buzz around Fashion Week this year is not just about who’s wearing or showing what, but about how to avoid the devastating impacts that the production of rayon and other fabrics and clothing produced from wood fiber in the form of dissolving pulp is having on  forests and communities in places like Indonesia, Canada and Brazil.

Sign here and demand that clothing’s luxury brands lead the way on deforestation and exploitation-free fabric.

The impacts of fabrics made from dissolving pulp, made by companies like Royal Golden Eagle Group’s Sateri Ltd., have gone under the radar for years. It's time for the world's most fashionable brands to pay attention and be leaders. Luxury fashion shouldn’t come at the price of land stolen from Indigenous Peoples and the loss of endangered forests. Demand that high fashion not only sets the trends for style, but that it also demonstrates leadership on environmental and social issues in the materials it uses.

Add your voice. Together, we can move the fashion industry forward.

Want to double your impact right now? A small group of committed activists will be jamming fashion companies by taking action on social media all Fashion Week. We’ll be sending an email with a new target each day, so 6 quick actions total. Are you willing to join our group of rapid responders? Click here to join the fun.

PepsiCo needs a Time Out

Timeout.pngPepsiCo needs a Time Out.

Between now and the end of February, Palm Oil Activists around the world are putting PepsiCo in a Time Out until it cuts Conflict Palm Oil. Why a Time Out? PepsiCo is acting like a stubborn child - one who wants all the toys (or profits) but none of the responsibility. We need your help to hold PepsiCo to account.

PepsiCo is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world and is a major user of Conflict Palm Oil. PepsiCo’s continued unwillingness to take responsibility for the consequences of the palm oil in its supply chain is shocking. The company continues to fry its chips and fill its products with palm oil sourced from controversial, unknown plantations -- products like its Quaker Oats Chewy bars that end up in lunch boxes every day.

Thanks to your hard work and consumer pressure, our campaign on PepsiCo is building momentum. But the forests are still falling and we are not there yet. Tropical rainforests, endangered wildlife and exploited laborers need PepsiCo to start taking this issue seriously and to take immediate steps to create real change. It’s our job to keep the pressure up, and demand that PepsiCo demonstrates to its customers that it can be trusted to provide products free of Conflict Palm Oil.

Here’s how you can take action right now:

STEP 1: Download and print a handful of copies of THIS card (on recycled paper, of course).

STEP 2: Ask your friends, family members, colleagues and people on the street to sign the card to demand that PepsiCo Cut Conflict Palm Oil! There are a lot of great ways to collect a ton of cards at once:

  • Grab some friends and head out to a busy spot in your town. 
  • Set up a table at a grocery store or farmers market and ask passerby’s to stop and sign a card.
  • Ask for a few minutes on the agenda of any gathering that you are a part of. You could ask everyone in your office at a staff meeting, all of your peers in a class or all of the members of your club/sports team/religious group etc. 
  • Ask a local business if they can keep a stack of cards on their counter (leave an envelope for people to leave their cards for you to mail in!)
  • Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter to invite people in your circles to join in on the action.

STEP 3: Mail your cards! If you live in the US, PepsiCo’s mailing address is:
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577

If you live outside of the US, you can find your country or region's PepsiCo address HERE.

STEP 4 (Optional): If you live in the United States and plan on getting more than 10 cards signed and sent to PepsiCo, fill out this simple order form and we will send you a package of snazzy pre-printed cards and cool campaign stickers.

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 rainforests which are the homes of the last wild orangutans. Put PepsiCo in a Time Out by mailing your card right now!

Setting the Record Straight on PepsiCo’s Lackluster Palm Oil Commitment


By any measure, 2014 was a turning point in the international movement to reform the notoriously destructive palm oil industry. Many of the sector’s biggest players announced groundbreaking global responsible palm oil policies that go above and beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and pledge to eliminate deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution from their palm oil supply chains.

While major work remains to truly implement these newly achieved commitments into real change on the ground, there also remain major corporate laggards who have so far failed to raise their standards to the new global benchmark for responsible palm oil production set by their peers. Chief among these holdouts is PepsiCo, a company that uses so much palm oil annually it could fill soda cans full of the stuff stretching around the earth at the equator four times over.

You may have seen this past week that PepsiCo, parent company to popular brands including Doritos and Quaker Oats, issued a strongly worded, defiant public response to a hilarious and creative ad produced by the group SumOfUs that spoofs PepsiCo’s own Crash the Superbowl ad campaign and has quickly gone viral on social media.  

PepsiCo’s statement calls efforts to cut controversial palm oil from its products a "public relations stunt, focused on fiction rather than facts." The company claims that its palm oil policies are 'effective' and went so far as to state: "It is no surprise that SumofUs' continual mischaracterizations of our palm oil commitments are patently false and run counter to the positive reception our policies have received from expert organizations in this arena."

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) would would like to take this opportunity to share for the record a joint communication being made public for the first time now that was delivered privately to PepsiCo more than five months ago from multiple leading expert organizations in the palm oil arena. The communication outlines in specific detail the ways in which PepsiCo's current palm oil commitments fall short and offers recommendations for addressing the gaps it identifies.

While many of its major snack food brand peers have adopted leading commitments to verifiably cut the ties between the palm oil in their products and deforestation, human rights abuses and climate pollution, PepsiCo has continued to refuse to take the steps necessary to ensure its customers that the palm oil it uses is truly free of these egregious abuses.

To summarize, experts continue to call on PepsiCo to strengthen its current palm oil commitment in the following ways:

  • Require its suppliers to uphold human rights, workers’ rights and resolve conflicts in accordance with international human and labor rights laws and norms; not develop on peatlands regardless of depth; prohibit burning; and include support for smallholders across all operations in its global supply chain;

  • Commit to tracing the palm oil it sources to the plantations where the oil palm fruit is grown (it currently only commits to tracing to the mill) and undertake independent verification of its supply chain to ensure it is not purchasing from companies trafficking conflict palm oil.

  • Immediately assess the risks in its Indonesian and Malaysian supply chains given that these are the regions with the highest rates of deforestation, conflict, and labor rights violations caused by Conflict Palm Oil.

  • Clearly outline an implementation plan that includes time-bound performance goals and reporting, auditing and third-party verification measures.  

RAN first alerted PepsiCo to the serious problems in its palm oil supply chain over a year ago and offered to work with the company to find solutions and draft a comprehensive, time bound responsible palm oil policy that does not rely on outsourcing the company’s stated values to the spotty track record of the RSPO. This offer still stands.


Join the Palm Oil Action Team

We're looking for passionate activists to join our Palm Oil Action Team and take the lead to stop rainforest destruction caused by the snack food industry. Join the movement!

What does it mean to be a Palm Oil Activist?

  • Be part of our core group of activists pressuring the biggest snack food companies in the US to cut rainforest destruction out of their products!
  • We'll email you with the newest actions to keep the pressure on the snack food industry.
  • Direct communication with RAN's National Organizing team when you sign up to participate in an action—we'll be here the whole way to support you, whether this is your first step into activism or if you are a seasoned activist.
  • Participate in group calls with other Palm Oil Activists from around the country to share organizing skills and action ideas!

Remembering Becky Tarbotton, 1973 - 2012

Becky TarbottonIt has been two years since we lost our dear friend Becky Tarbotton, and two years since the environmental movement lost a rare and visionary force.

We still miss Becky every day. And we still feel her influence and her energy throughout our offices and throughout all of our work.

For me, this connection is very personal – Becky was the person who hired me on at RAN.  And she did so in her own inimitable and intense fashion. What I thought was going to be a drawn out process was instead one face-to-face meeting followed by a phone call just hours before I was to board an international flight.  She was offering me a chance to lead the campaign against Cargill and the fight to save the most rapidly disappearing rainforests on the planet.

“If you want to take on the largest private company in the world,” she said, “here is your opportunity. Take it or leave it but I need to know soon.” This meant my first day on the job would be getting on a plane to Indonesia and jumping into the deep end of what would become a seven-year battle.

But that was her leadership style – one of conviction, confidence and audacity. She embodied the belief within this organization that we cannot only settle for what’s possible.  We have to strive for what’s necessary.

She is even quoted on the opening page of Naomi Klein’s latest book. Becky’s quote not only speaks to the imperative and urgent nature of the issues we face, but also illuminates the incredible person behind it.

“We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we’re really talking about, if we’re honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet.”

That is the will and the drive and the vision that continues to push us forward. That is the audacity and the inspiration of Becky. And that is to what we aspire everyday at RAN.

I would like to think she would be proud of the year we’ve had and the work we’ve continued in her name.

But most of all, I would like to say to her once again, Thank you.

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 

An Urgent Message from Aceh

My name is Wiza, and I’m from Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. I’m working with local communities to protect the endangered forests of the Leuser Ecosystem as our survival and livelihoods depend on it.

But everything that I am fighting for could be lost if the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo does not reject a disastrous new land use plan that would drive destructive palm oil and pulp plantations, logging, mining, and poaching in my home province, Aceh. The fate of our people now rests in the hands of our President through his Minister of Home Affairs. I have traveled to the US because I urgently need your support in calling on the President to protect the Leuser Ecosystem by rejecting Aceh’s new spatial plan.

The most effective way for the global community to reach President Widodo is through social media. Will you take a moment to respectfully request President Widodo reject the Aceh spatial plan on his Facebook page? Please cut and paste the following message in Bahasa Indonesia:

Kepada Bapak Presiden Jokowi, dengan hormat kami meminta Bapak untuk berdiri di pihak rakyat dan membatalkan Qanun tata ruang Aceh. Masyarakat setempat bergantung pada Kawasan Ekosistem Leuser untuk air, pencegahan bencana dan mata pencaharian. Dunia juga bergantung pada daerah ini untuk menjaga stabilitas iklim. Mohon Pak Presiden, dengan pimpinan dan kewenangan Bapak, berpihak pada masyarakat dan membatalkan tata ruang Aceh. Media menyebut tata ruang Aceh sebagai “Bencana yang dapat dicegah”.

You'll be leaving this message for the President:

Honorable President Widodo: I respectfully request that you stand for the people and reject the Aceh Spatial Plan. Local communities rely on the Leuser Ecosystem, for food, water and their livelihoods. The world community relies on this area to keep our climate stable. Indonesian media is calling the Aceh Spatial Plan “An entirely preventable disaster.” Please stand for people and reject the Aceh Spatial Plan.

In his first month in office, our President promised to put people before palm oil. He has committed to give our forests and land to the people, not to corporations. I need your help to hold the President to his words by rejecting Aceh’s new spatial plan.

If the spatial plan is not rejected, crucial protections of the Leuser Ecosystem will be removed and handed to corporations, spelling disaster for the climate, forests, local communities and the long term economic health and sustainability of the region.

At 6.5 million acres, the Leuser Ecosystem is a world unto itself—a rich landscape of intact tropical lowland rainforests, cloud draped mountains and steamy peat swamps. It is among the most biodiverse and ancient ecosystems ever documented by science, and most of this protected area is located in my home province of Aceh. Its forest landscapes provide a steady, clean water supply to millions of people.

We have been fighting for so long to protect the Leuser Ecosystem and all our work could be undone if the spatial plan is not rejected. It is urgent that the President hears from you now.

Please send a message to President Joko Widodo, asking him to listen to the needs of Aceh’s people by rejecting the new Aceh Spatial plan and to ensure that protections remain in place for the Leuser Ecosystem.


Semangat - keep the spirit,

Farwiza Farhan

Acehnese fighting for the Leuser Ecosystem

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