Pages tagged "indigenous"


Toba Pulp Lestari: In depth on one of the worst actors in pulp and paper

Indonesian pulp and paper giant Toba Pulp Lestari has been operating recklessly in North Sumatra for years. The company's mill has been poisoning communities and disrupting life and livelihoods for the local people who call this area home. The mill, and it’s operators, are responsible for horrific land conflicts between the company and villagers who hold traditional land rights to the company’s concessions.


These communities, whose land is protected by customary rights under Indonesian law, rely on these forests for their life and livelihoods. As reported by RAN’s on-the-ground partner, Kelompok Studi dan Pengembangan Prakarsa Masyarakat, well over 17,000 hectares of natural forest have been destroyed, impacting or displacing over 13,000 Indigenous people.

These communities are fighting back, and at least 59 activists have been arrested for resisting Toba Pulp Lestari’s continued expansion and destruction. In the past few years, land conflict has only escalated between villagers and Toba Pulp Lestari employees over the forest area. Meetings with government representatives and Toba Pulp Lestari management have brought no results, and local villagers have resorted to protests and blockades of company operations in order to protect the forests.

The behavior of Toba Pulp Lestari employees shows clear disregard for the livelihoods of local people. In February 2013, local farmers from Pandumaan and Sipituhuta Villages caught Toba Pulp Lestari employees entering their forest areas and cutting down frankincense trees. Instead of apprehending those causing the destruction, resulting clashes between farmers and the employees led to the arrests of 31 farmers.

The harvest of frankincense is essential to the local economy. These communities, who have farmed this land for generations, extract the frankincense without destroying the trees in order to maintain the health of the forest and keep this vital source of income intact for future generations. When the forests are wiped out for pulp plantations, Toba Pulp Lestari destroys not only the livelihoods of the community, their childrens’ livelihoods, and the ecosystem, but it destroys their culture as well.

Local communities have opposed the mill since it began operations in North Sumatra in 1989 due to the rainforest destruction, land grabbing and toxics pollution central to the company’s business model. In 1990, 10 elderly women from Sugapa Village were arrested for pulling up and destroying eucalyptus plantings on their traditional land. Protests by the local community escalated in 1998 and temporarily shut down the mill. But in recent years, the company has changed its name from PT Inti Indorayon Utama to PT Toba Pulp Lestari and reopened the mill; it is now in the process of expanding its destructive operations further into pristine rainforest. Along with name changes, the company has changed affiliations multiple times in order to hide its destruction. The company was formerly affiliated with pulp and paper giant, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and its parent Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), and is still controlled by notorious Indonesian business tycoon Sukanto Tanoto through holding companies.  

This may seem like a conflict far away from those of us in the Americas, Europe, or Australia, but it’s closer than one would think. A wide variety of consumer products contain pulp from rainforests like those in North Sumatra, including paper, food, cosmetics, household goods—even clothing. This pulp, and the conflict that produced it, is sold on store shelves in your neighborhood - unmarked and unidentifiable.

Unless Toba Pulp Lestari respects the rights of the Indigenous people, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), conflicts will only continue. And while Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has acknowledged the customary forest rights of the communities, Toba Pulp Lestari’s concessions and operations continue to undermine the ability of local people to access and manage their own forests.

We plan to keep you up to date on this conflict and bring more information continue to explore and expose the pulp supply chains threatening global rainforests.... stay tuned.


Industry’s Dreams, Indigenous Nightmares: A Visit to the Alberta Tar Sands

Oil_Sand_Discovery_Centre_600x400.JPG

In late June, a team of RAN staff travelled to Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada to participate in the Tar Sands Healing Walk, which is organized and hosted by members of the local First Nations Communities. Walking amidst the tar sands destruction was a humbling and powerful experience.

This blog post is one of a series, sharing our impressions and reflections.

Our journey in Alberta began in Fort McMurray, a boomtown where the international oil industry has set up a base of operations from which to conduct tar sands extraction. The scale of the industry anchored in Fort McMurray is difficult to overstate: the town sits on one of the world’s largest oil deposits, the Athabasca tar sands. The extraction of Alberta’s tar sands constitutes the world’s biggest industrial project, and massive mining operations directly abut Fort McMurray. 

We landed at the brand new Fort McMurray international airport, where workers were putting the finishing touches on the terminal’s décor, as if the place had been quickly constructed in anticipation of our arrival. Immediately, signs of the tar sands-driven boom were apparent; gift shops featured oil sands tee shirts and advertisements announced new direct international flights to Las Vegas, enabling well-paid oil workers to quickly spend their paychecks on gambling and entertainment.

industry_mags_600x416.jpgMore than 80% of Canada’s tar sand workers are male, and Fort McMurray was full of bulky guys. On the plane, I overheard a pair of oil workers talking about how they had gained over 100 pounds while living in company-provided housing at a tar sands refinery, a by-product of boredom and sedentary machine-operation. As if to justify the weight gain, the workers then turned their conversation to the “couple of houses” each had bought with their tar sands earnings. 

Many of Fort McMurray’s workers seemed focused on buying real estate with oil profits; the town was awash in oil industry publications that combined breathless accounts of lucrative tar sands expansion, advertisements for mining companies, and tips on homeownership and real estate. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, capital investments in the Canadian tar sands have jumped more than 400% since 2006, stretching the municipality’s resources and skyrocketing population and property values in Fort McMurray. Expansion, growth, money, and oil are the watchwords of the day.

Ft._Mac_600x660.jpgOn the edge of town we visited the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, a shrine to the technological process of extracting and refining the tar sands. Sponsored by the Albertan government with heavy support from industry, the Discovery Centre was most remarkable for what it was not included in its displays. As in Fort McMurray and the tar sands industry more broadly, the Oil Sands Discovery Centre lacked any acknowledgement of the climate impacts stemming from the tar sands. It was as if the oil industry town existed in an alternative reality where climate change did not exist and endless expansion of tar sands mining was completely unopposed by the global community.  This was a step beyond climate denialism; it was an outright refusal to even recognize that the concept of climate change exists.

Irony_At_the_Oil_Sands_Discovery_Centre_400x600.JPGIn place of the gaping hole where climate concerns should have been, the Oil Sand Discovery Centre touted Fort McMurray’s incredibly ironic ban on single-use plastic bags, and offered an appeasing video insinuating that oil industry reclamation efforts are akin to the millennia of sacred land stewardship practiced by Indigenous First Nations groups. While we immediately smelled a rat in the oil industries claims of reclamation, it wasn’t until we joined the Athabasca Chipeywan and Mikisew Cree First Nations that the abject hideousness of industry claims came into focus.

When we left the world of Fort McMurray’s oil settlers and joined First Nation host communities at the Tars Sands Healing walk, what we heard and saw laid bare the poisonous horror that lurks beneath the sheen of Alberta’s lucrative tar sands boom and industry’s expansionist dreams.

Part Two, "Indigenous Nightmares", will be posted next week. 

 

Photos: 

1. Visitors at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray.

2. Oil industry magazines predict growth for Fort McMurray and tar sands mining.

3. Fort McMurray is dwarfed by nearby tar sands mines.

4. An ironic sign at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre.

 


"Without clean water, we cannot survive."

RAN is proud to be an original supporter of ClearWater, which has launched an incredible new website today. Here are a few words from our friends at Amazon Watch about the important work ClearWater is doing and how you can get involved. "Without clean water, we cannot survive," Emergildo Criollo told me recently. You may have heard of Emergildo. An indigenous leader of the Cofan Nation in Ecuador's northern Amazon, he has been a relentless advocate for his people, speaking out about oil giant Chevron's toxic legacy in his territory. But today, even as he continues the fight to hold Chevron accountable, Emergildo isn't waiting for a cleanup that seems always on the horizon. Emergildo is taking matters into his own hands, helping to bring clean water to thousands of Indigenous people who have suffered without for decades. Rainforest Action Network is proud to stand with Emergildo, and the other Indigenous leaders who are part of an effort to address that dire need. It's called The ClearWater Project.

//www.youtube.com/embed/J7yt54MQleE

ClearWater began with a big goal: provide safe, sustainable access to clean water for every Indigenous family in the region, whose ancestral waterways have been poisoned by oil production and ensuing industrialization. In just two years, ClearWater has installed more than 500 family-sized rainwater harvesting and filtration systems that serve thousands of people in communities that have long suffered an epidemic of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses that numerous health studies in the region blame on a lack of access to safe sources of water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. Our efforts have been able to make this impact because, from the beginning, ClearWater has been a collaborative partnership between the five indigenous nationalities here—the Cofan, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, and Waorani—and international supporters, such as water engineers, humanitarians, activists, and philanthropists. ClearWater believes in collaborative, integrative, community-led solutions, where someone like Emergildo is coordinating amongst the different Indigenous nationalities to install new water systems, local youth are using GPS to map their biological and cultural resources, and frontline leaders are learning new media techniques to broadcast their concerns to the world. Clean water, health, and dignity. From this foundation, Emergildo and the Indigenous people of Ecuador's northern Amazon are building a movement for rainforest protection and cultural survival. I’m proud that Rainforest Action Network is a founding partner in this project, and I hope you’ll join us, too. Explore ClearWater's impact by navigating around this cutting-edge interactive map designed by another Amazon Watch family member, Gregor MacLennan, now Digital Democracy's Program Director. Learn more about ClearWater on our website or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
han-headshot   Han Shan is an Amazon Watch Advisory Board Member.

PepsiCo Says No More Land Grabbing; Now Needs To Cut Conflict Palm Oil and Deforestation

PepsiCo Land GrabsToday, food and beverage giant PepsiCo declared that it will no longer accept land grabbing in its global supply chains. Land grabbing occurs when Indigenous Peoples or local communities are kicked off their land so corporations can make profits from growing palm oil, sugar, and other crops.

This announcement comes after significant consumer pressure from Oxfam's Behind the Brand Campaign and PepsiCo investors who called on the company to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for land grabbing.

The adoption of its new Land Policy is a positive step forward for PepsiCo, but we know all too well that actions are stronger than words. PepsiCo must take real action to deal with its land grabbing problem. Given that land grabbing is also a symptom of PepsiCo's deforestation and Conflict Palm Oil problems, it must now make the next bold move and implement a responsible palm oil sourcing and no deforestation policy.

PepsiCo is a huge company, operating in over 200 countries and earning $65.6 billion in revenue each year. Its well known brands, including Pepsi, Doritos, Ruffles, Cheetos and Quaker, are found in homes around the world. RAN has exposed the dangers of Conflict Palm Oil and the fact that it ends up in chips, cookies and granola bars made by PepsiCo. PepsiCo sources its palm oil from companies like Cargill, Wilmar and AAK in Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico.

Despite the growing concern over Conflict Palm Oil, PepsiCo has not adopted a responsible palm oil policy to remove deforestation and social conflict from its global supply chain. Instead of taking responsibility for its supply chain, the company relies solely on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO continues to certify companies that are destroying rainforests and peatlands and causing high greenhouse gas emissions. It also has a poor track record of enforcing its human and labor rights standards, and resolving disputes between certified companies and local communities over land grabbing.

PepsiCo cannot rely on the RSPO.

To address these problems fully, PepsiCo must join other leading consumer companies and adopt responsible palm oil sourcing and no deforestation policies and cut Conflict Palm Oil from its products.

You can help pressure PepsiCo to tackle its deforestation and Conflict Palm Oil problems next.

On May 7th, PepsiCo will need to face up to its shareholders who will be casting their vote on a deforestation resolution at its annual general meeting. With your help, we’ll convince PepsiCo to do the right thing for the forests and the people that depend on them for their survival. Add your voice here.

Banner photo via C.J. Chanco Inset photo via Oxfam


Mars Steps Up!

RAG_marschicago1We have great news—your actions are delivering REAL victories for rainforests. After nearly a year of negotiations, Mars has announced that it will only source palm oil from companies that are not destroying rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands or causing human rights abuses!

Even better, Mars has set a deadline that its suppliers must meet to keep its business. The company is demanding that its suppliers, like Cargill, adopt the same strong commitments and only supply it with responsible palm oil. If Cargill fails to fall in line, it will be dropped as a supplier. This is what driving transformation in a supply chain truly means.

This would not have happened without all of the wonderful RAN activists who have taken action. Your letters to Mars on Valentine’s Day, phone calls, posts, tweets and, for some, your visit with Strawberry the orangutan to Mars headquarters made this possible. We exposed Conflict Palm Oil in Mars' supply chain and today the family-run company has taken the first step to deal with its Conflict Palm Oil problem. Now it's time for Mars to move beyond words with a thorough and rapid implementation plan for removing Conflict Palm Oil from its products.

Getting Mars on board is another step forward for Indonesia and Malaysia’s rainforests and the people and wildlife that call them home. The brands we’re taking on are huge, but it’s you and your friends that have the real power. It’s because of you that we have power in the negotiation room and are winning!

In the face of growing criticism over their use of Conflict Palm Oil, a number of the Snack Food 20 companies have taken action. Mars, Nestle, Unilever, Kellogg and Mondelez are all delivering the same message to their suppliers, like Cargill. The writing is on the wall: Cargill needs to get in line with other traders like Wilmar International and Golden Agri Resources (GAR) who have set new benchmarks for responsible palm oil production and trade or risk losing some of its most important customers.

We’re winning—now there's one more thing to do to help turn this commitment into real action. Post this message on Mars' Facebook wall: Hey Mars, thanks for stepping up to protect rainforests and people from Conflict Palm Oil. We need Mars to put its words into action with a thorough and rapid implementation plan for removing Conflict Palm Oil from its products. The power is #InYourPalm. We’re on a roll and we have big plans that we’ll share with you very, very soon.


Pulp and Paper Giant APRIL Rebuked, Put On Notice

 interiorThe World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a group of 200 international corporations who claim commitments to sustainability, has put APRIL, Indonesia’s second largest and now most destructive pulp and paper company, on notice. APRIL has been placed on probation and the WBCSD will revoke its membership unless it can prove that it has ended its long-standing practices of rainforest destruction. The WBCSD, which counts PepsiCo and Monsanto as members, isn’t your usual advocacy group. It’s essentially a club of large multi-national corporations. To have them find that one of their own is so bad they are expelled sends the unequivocal message that APRIL is a rouge company. It’s also a clear signal to businesses that buy pulp and paper or finance the company that they should sever ties with APRIL as well as the web of companies controlled by Sukanto Tanoto, APRIL’s notorious owner. However, it is unclear whether this condemnation will be sufficient to push an end to the egregious practices of APRIL and its sister companies. RAN worked with WWF and Greenpeace last year to convince the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to disassociate itself from APRIL due to its destructive social and environmental practices. Unfortunately, the FSC action failed to achieve any major changes from APRIL, which is still logging and converting to monoculture plantations an estimated 12,000 acres of rainforest a month, often on land stolen from local communities. APRIL has 12 months to comply with the WBCSD Roadmap, which outlines proposed steps to end forest conversion and to conserve natural forests. If APRIL and its sister companies follow the principles of the Roadmap that the WBCSD has laid out – which include an immediate cessation of logging of rainforests – it will be a good start. But the WBCSD provisions do not go nearly far enough to ensure responsible forestry practices by APRIL. The scope must apply to APRIL and its sister companies and their supply chain partners. Suppliers and their performance must be independently verified. These companies must address the myriad of social issues, land conflicts, and human rights violations that they and their suppliers are responsible for. They must end any further incursions on carbon-rich peatlands. And they must address the legacy of negative environmental and social impacts, properly resolve land and social conflicts, and restore key ecological and hydrological areas that have been destroyed. APRIL has a long history of broken promises, forest destruction, and human rights abuses. Clearing intact rainforests to feed its pulp mills appears to be its key business model, with 60% of its fiber supply coming directly from the rainforest. This is a clear signal from the business community that APRIL’s current practices cannot continue. This must stop now. Twelve months is too long. For years, APRIL has offered only broken promises. Until APRIL can come into compliance with responsible forest practices, even beyond what is outlined in the WBCSD’s Roadmap, companies must cancel their contracts with this notorious forest destroyer. To read the full text of the WBCSD complaint, click here.

Lumber Liquidators: Trading Siberian Tigers, Organized Crime, and Illegal Logging for Cheap Flooring

[caption id="attachment_22664" align="alignleft" width="300"]Extinction for cheap flooring? Hell no. Extinction for cheap flooring? Hell no.[/caption] A shocking new report shows direct ties between hardwood flooring giant Lumber Liquidators, organized crime, and the illegal logging of the habitat of the last 450 Siberian Tigers. This shameless disregard for the last few remaining members of the species in pursuit of cheap flooring is not only disgusting, it's illegal under American law and has prompted a federal investigation. Take Action: Tell Lumber Liquidators to immediately eliminate illegal hardwoods from their products. Posing undercover as large scale lumber buyers, RAN's awesome and much admired allies at the Environmental Investigation Agency infiltrated the worst of the worst of a shadowy network of illegal logging operations in Russia's Far East and tracked their shipments back to their biggest customer, the largest retailer of flooring in the United States, Lumber Liquidators. The remote area where this rapid deforestation is occurring is the last frontier of old growth hardwoods in the region and the last habitat in Russia for the highly endangered Siberian Tiger. Thanks to the US Lacey Act, amended in 2008 to ban the trade of illegal wood and forest products, this case is now under active investigation by the US Department of Justice. For the amazing backstory of how this came to be, watch EIA's video (below) and then read their recently released report Liquidating the Forests: Hardwood Flooring, Organized Crime and the World's Last Siberian Tigers. In order to retain even a shred of credibility, Lumber Liquidators needs to immediately and irrevocably take action to improve due diligence and bring itself into compliance with the Lacey Act. It must eliminate forest illegality, destruction and human rights violations from its supply chain. Lumber Liquidators must cut supply chain ties with Xingjia, the supplier which is the source of this illegal hardwood, and adopt and implement a comprehensive procurement policy that ensures the company will never again be involved in destroying old growth and endangered forests, abuse of human rights and run away climate change. The time for action is now—add your name here to send your message directly to Lumber Liquidators.

//www.youtube.com/embed/UKqwMH2N0vc


Our Big Finale! (Or is it?)

RAG_CampbellsVisitRawThis is it! We’ve reached the final stop on our “The Power Is In Your Palm” Tour! This morning, I accompanied Strawberry, the orphaned orangutan from Indonesia, on her final two Snack Food 20 visits, to the headquarters of Grupo Bimbo (makers of Sara Lee Bread) in Horsham, PA and Campbell Soup Company in Camden, NJ. Campbell’s is a major U.S based global food company that uses palm oil. Over the past 6 months we have met with Campbell's but the company has not made any commitments to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products. Can you help us close the tour with a bang and make sure Campbell’s feel the pressure today? Grupo Bimbo is a major global food company that controls popular brands, including Sara Lee Breads and Bimbo cookies and baked goods, and uses palm oil. Over the past 6 months Grupo Bimbo has failed to respond to our requests for meetings. Last week the company finally agreed to meet with us to discuss the urgent need to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products. Will you echo our demands to Campbell’s and Grupo Bimbo right now? Let’s make a call for change so loud the companies can't ignore it! 1. Post this message on Campbell’s Facebook wall: Hey Campbell’s, I won't feed my family products that contain Conflict Palm Oil. Demand responsible palm oil from your suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products. The power is #InYourPalm. 2. Post this message on Sara Lee's Facebook wall: Hey Grupo Bimbo, I’m standing with orangutans, and I can’t stand by brands like Sara Lee that use Conflict Palm Oil. Demand responsible palm oil from your suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products. The power is #InYourPalm. 3. Tweet at Campbell’s: Hey @CampbellSoupCo, I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict #PalmOil. The power is #InYourPalm. At the Campbell’s and Grupo Bimbo's headquarters, Strawberry and her friends from the New Jersey Palm Oil Action Team gave representatives of both companies a copy of the RAN report Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations and outlined RAN's demand to cut Conflict Palm Oil. Thank you for all of your amazing support to pressure the Snack Food 20 to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from our food these past two months. It’s been an incredible, busy campaign push that we never could have accomplished without all of you! But this is just the beginning. We will be in touch soon as the next Palm Oil Action Team adventure unfolds... Jess Serrante

RAN Channels Small Grants to Two Major Indigenous Mobilizations in South America

Indigenous communities are mobilizing in Brazil and Ecuador, challenging the respective national governments’ plans to push large-scale expansion of oil development in the rainforest (Ecuador) and clear the way for roads, dams, agribusiness and development of other mega-projects (Brazil) that would devastate ecosystems and undermine the internationally recognized standard of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). In Brazil, the powerful ruralista voting bloc of Congress that represents the country’s burgeoning agribusiness sector is seeking to modify Article 231 of the constitution to reduce Indigenous autonomy over their traditional territory in cases of “relevant public interest,” while simultaneously attempting to roll back the demarcation of new Indigenous territories. In a related effort, President Dilma is trying to push through measures to unilaterally reduce the boundaries of protected areas and Indigenous lands in order to build 3 major dams on the Tapajós River, and a series of additional large and medium-sized dams on its tributaries. These dams together would flood 230,000 acres of conservation units and national parks. The Chacorão Dam would also flood 50,000 acres of the Munduruku Indigenous Lands. This is illegal under Brazilian law, but those protections are threatened by these dangerous proposals. In response, in the beginning of October, a National Indigenous Mobilization, perhaps the most significant in the last 25 years in Brazil, brought together 1,500 representatives of nearly 100 Indigenous ethnicities to Brasilia for a high-profile gathering and protest at the Brazilian Congress. RAN, working in coordination with Amazon Watch and Brazilian organization Socio-Environmental Fund CASA, channeled a $5,000 Protect-an-Acre grant to support the mobilization and the fight of Munduruku community members to stop the Tapajós dams. [caption id="attachment_22295" align="alignleft" width="403"]National Indigenous Mobilization in Brasilia, Photo by Maira Irigaray National Indigenous Mobilization in Brasilia, Photo by Maira Irigaray[/caption] As Amazon Watch’s Christain Poirer reported: Based steps away from Brazil’s congressional buildings, federal ministries, and the presidential palace, the mobilization encampment proved an ideal staging point for acts of steadfast Indigenous resistance. Days were punctuated with spirited protest marches that provoked an overwhelming police response, and congressional security indiscriminately pepper spraying peaceful protestors. Yet brutality and intimidation could not dampen a hunger for justice and for respect…Targeting the heart of the agribusiness lobby in Brasilia, hundreds of protestors occupied the headquarters of the National Confederation of Agriculture, singing and dancing in celebration of a symbolic victory against the ruralistsas. Legendary Kayapo leader, Chief Raoni Metuktire, stated: “We are here because Congress wants to take our rights and extinguish our people. This assembly is important because it aims to unite our peoples against this threat.” Two weeks later, in Ecuador, close to 150 Indigenous women began an 4 day, 150 mile walk from the Amazon city of Puyo, walking high into the Andes mountains to the capital city of Quito as part of a Mobilization for Life to demonstrate the unified resistance of all 7 Indigenous nationalities potentially impacted by the Ecuadorian government’s attempts to open up 16 new oil blocks in the southern Amazon to development, as well as to call for not drilling in Yasuni National Park. Hundreds of additional supporters joined the march along the way. RAN was also able to channel a $5,000 grant to this mobilization via Global Greengrants Fund and in coordination with Land is Life and the Association of Sapara Women. Gloria Ushigua, president of the Association of Sapara Women stated: “We are marching; we are going to arrive in Quito and we are going to speak to Mr. Rafael Correa. We don’t want oil, maybe there is another way of life. We are organized, we have been organized for years, and we don’t want oil.” These two videos (in Spanish) feature the Mobilization for Life, which arrived in Quito last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EN-LXCeBKLI http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wj3PgqDbPeA

PepsiCo Can Change -- But Will It?

[caption id="attachment_22256" align="alignleft" width="300"]RAG_PepsiCo_600 Orangutans are asking for help - will PepsiCo listen?[/caption] Thanks to you, this has been a huge week in the fight to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from our food! Our new video with Strawberry the orangutan has been viewed over 146,000 times. Our petition to the Snack Food 20 demanding they cut Conflict Palm Oil has almost 67,000 signatures. From Minneapolis to NYC, our "The Power Is In Your Palm Tour" has now delivered demands to 7 of the Snack Food 20 with the amazing support of all of the Palm Oil Action Team members who’ve met up with us along the way. The Snack Food 20 is feeling the heat—and today we brought the spotlight directly to PepsiCo corporate headquarters in Purchase, NY. We need to make sure they know that you’re watching and demanding an end to the use of Conflict Palm Oil in their snack food products. Even if you’ve taken action with other Snack Food 20 companies, today’s the day to pressure Pepsi. Here are three things you can do right now to echo our demands to Pepsi: 1. Call Pepsi at (914) 253-2000. Here's a call script you can use:
“Hi, my name is [your name] from [your city]. I’m a [student, mom, dad...] and one of your valued customers! It concerns me that your company cannot guarantee that it is not using Conflict Palm Oil in its products. Pepsi must demand responsible palm oil from its suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from its products. I encourage you to secure a new global responsible palm oil procurement policy and implementation plan that ensures that the palm oil in your company’s supply chain is fully traceable, legally grown, and sourced from verified responsible palm oil producers not associated with deforestation, expansion onto carbon-rich peatlands or human and labor rights violations. Thank You!”
2. Post this message on Pepsi’s Facebook wall:
Hey Pepsi, I’m standing with orangutans, and I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict Palm Oil. Demand responsible palm oil from your suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from your products. The power is #InYourPalm.
3. Tweet at Pepsi:
Hey @PepsiCo, I can’t stand by brands that use Conflict #PalmOil. The power is #InYourPalm
At the Pepsi HQ, Strawberry and her friends from the New York Palm Oil Action Team gave representatives of Pepsi a copy of the RAN report Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations and outlined RAN's demand to cut Conflict Palm Oil. Can you call Pepsi now to add your voice to our demands? Today's visit to Pepsi is the latest company stop on The Power Is In Your Palm Tour. In the past month, Strawberry and our team have visited the headquarters of Mondelēz, Kraft Foods, Kellogg's, Smucker’s, Mars, and Dunkin Donuts to deliver the report and a similar set of demands. The Snack Food 20 are feeling the pressure from the video, thousands of photo petitions, calls, tweets, Facebook posts and Strawberry the Orangutan's visits to their HQ's. Let's keep it up!

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