Local Environmental and Human Rights Activists Protest PepsiCo on Conflict Palm Oil Issue at Manhattan Office

Activists use banners, signs, chants and storytelling to disrupt office building lobby, drawing a large crowd and raising awareness of exploited palm oil workers 


CONTACT: Emma Rae Lierley, Emma@ran.org, +1 425.281.1989

**High-res photos from the action available on request 


New York, New York – On the same day that yet another independent report finds illegality and exploitation on PepsiCo’s business partner’s palm oil plantation, local volunteers and supporters, together with Rainforest Action Network, are staging a solem protest drawing attention to the issue.

Sharing personal stories of just some of the thousands of exploited palm oil workers connected to PepsiCo through its joint venture partnership with Indofood – a major food company in Indonesia, and a maker of PepsiCo-branded products in the country – along with carrying signs and holding space in the office lobby with chants and powerful storytelling, the activsts are demanding that PepsiCo take responsibility and clean up its palm oil supply chain. 

“This protest comes after years of reports about the exploitation and abuse faced every day by workers on palm oil plantations,” said Malachi Robinson, a Brooklyn resident and Senior Organizer for Rainforest Action Network (RAN). “We are telling just a few stories today, but unfortunately the conditions are similar across many palm oil plantations in Indonesia. These workers are producing the very same palm oil that ends up on our store shelves here in New York and across the country.” 

There have been mulitiple reports in the past two years linking PepsiCo to exploitation and labor abuses in its palm oil supply chain. Just today, another independent report by the accreditation body of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO),​​ showed that PepsiCo’s business partner Indofood continues to violate Indonesian law and exploit its workers. PepsiCo recently acknowledged the problem for the first time, but maintains its joint venture partnership with the problematic company.​​​​​​​ 

PepsiCo, the largest globally distributed snack food company, is a major purchaser of palm oil, using 482,194 metric tons of palm oil in 2016 alone.​​​​​​​

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