At 5 AM, our alarms went off, and we began to peel ourselves out of beds and off of couches all over the house. We had a box packed with information cards calling on Nissin Foods to cut Conflict Palm Oil, we had our banner, freshly painted from the night before and of course, we had “Strawberry”, our charismatic orangutan costume, waiting by the door. We had planned to get to the gates of the Nissin Foods headquarters in Los Angeles, CA at 6:30am so we could greet staff upon their arrival. This headquarters is ground zero in our efforts to cut Conflict Palm Oil as it is where the majority of the country’s Top Ramen and Cup Noodle are made, products at risk of containing this controversial ingredient.
Nissin Foods is one of the Snack Food 20, a group of the world’s largest companies exposed by RAN for their links to Conflict Palm Oil. Earlier this month, Nissin was called out as a laggard due to its weak palm oil commitment that relies solely on the inadequate Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification system. Nissin is falling behind its peers as it has not set strict requirements for its suppliers to end destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights. This has to change, and with more actions like these, it will.
When we got to the headquarters, our main goal was to make ourselves as visible as we could to Nissin Foods employees. We unfurled our banner, and began to have conversations with as many employees as we could as they pulled into the parking lot. When employees were willing to stop and talk to us, we explained the urgent need to stop the destruction of forests for palm oil and handed them a postcard that outlined what their company could do to help. Our ask was this: As a matter of urgency, Nissin Foods needs to adopt a globally responsible palm oil procurement policy that includes a time-bound plan to cut Conflict Palm Oil.
Our plan was also to deliver a copy of RAN’s new report Testing Commitments to Cut Conflict Palm Oil and a letter from our Executive Director, Lindsey Allen, to Nissin Foods USA President. I met the VP of Marketing outside, handed over the report and letter and explained the urgent need for Nissin Foods to adopt a truly responsible palm oil policy.
This demonstration was a tremendous success! Nissin Foods has heard first hand that it must cut Conflict Palm Oil and for the next month calls will be pouring into Nissin from palm oil activists around the world. This is just the beginning. We’ll need to keep the pressure up until Nissin Foods adopts a responsible palm oil procurement policy. You can join us by signing up to organize your own call-in day to Nissin.
Many thanks to the incredible activists who made this action the success that it was: Shannen, Danny, Becky, Kathy, Anna, Nikki & Oceans!