The Power Is In Your Palm | Civil Eats

The Power Is In Your Palm

Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) ambitious new campaign, The Last Stand of the Orangutan, aims to save some of the world’s most important rainforests and the last remaining wild orangutans from “Conflict Palm Oil.” It’s one of the biggest campaigns we’ve ever launched.

We’re going after not one, not two, but 20 of the companies most responsible for putting Conflict Palm Oil into our food. We’ve dubbed these companies The Snack Food 20. They are the makers of some of the top name brands in the world, companies like PepsiCo, The Hershey Company, and Kraft Foods Group, and they are using Conflict Palm Oil in their products.

We need your help right now to make sure this campaign starts with a bang that the Snack Food 20 can’t ignore.

Tell the Snack Food 20 that you demand they remove Conflict Palm Oil from our food.

The Snack Food 20:

  • Campbell Soup Company
  • ConAgra Foods Inc.
  • Dunkin Brands
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • Grupo Bimbo
  • H.J. Heinz Company
  • Hillshire Brands Company
  • Hormel Foods Corp.
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kraft Foods Group
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
  • Mars, Inc.
  • Mondelez International, Inc.
  • Nestlé
  • Nissin Food Holdings
  • PepsiCo
  • The Hershey Company
  • The JM Smucker Company
  • Unilever

Our campaign launched last week in grand RAN style at the Chicago Board of Trade, the primary trading center for agricultural commodities, including palm oil. We publicly named the 20 snack food companies that RAN’s campaign will focus on and unfurled a 15-foot banner reading, “Cut Conflict Palm Oil, Not Rainforests.” Several RAN supporters wore orangutan masks and held signs displaying the logos of the Snack Food 20 companies.

The demonstration was accompanied by the release of our new report, entitled Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations, which exposes the increasingly severe environmental and human rights problems caused by palm oil production.

The demand for palm oil is skyrocketing—its use in the United States has grown nearly 500 percent in the past decade. And no wonder, since palm oil is in roughly half of all products on grocery store shelves. But this gives us, as consumers, incredible power to make change, too. If you speak up loudly enough, the Snack Food 20 will have to change the way they do business. The power is in your palm.

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This really is the last stand for the world’s remaining wild orangutans. Only 60,600 orangutans remain in Sumatra and Borneo. Will you stand up with them?

After we convince the Snack Food 20 to cut Conflict Palm Oil from their products, it will have a cascade effect: The Snack Food 20 will have to demand truly responsible palm oil from their suppliers, and, in turn, palm oil suppliers like Cargill will have to demand that palm oil producers in Indonesia stop destroying rainforests, stop driving the orangutan to extinction, and stop trampling on human rights.

In the weeks ahead you can expect to hear a lot more from us about the ways you can plug in to The Last Stand of the Orangutan campaign both online and in the real world. We’re traveling across the US with our The Power Is In Your Palm Tour, visiting the hometowns of many of the Snack Food 20 companies and spreading the word about the critical problems with Conflict Palm Oil. We’re building a movement too loud to ignore.

Together, we will change the way palm oil is made and make sure no more orangutans are killed for snack foods. We have reached The Last Stand of the Orangutan, but it’s not too late. Stand with orangutans now by telling the Snack Food 20 to get Conflict Palm Oil out of their products.

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This post originally appeared on the Rainforest Action Network blog.

Gemma Tillack directs the Rainforest Action Network's (RAN) Agribusiness campaign, which is addressing one of the main drivers of rainforest destruction in Indonesia: industrial palm oil. Prior to this position, Gemma worked for 10 years for The Wilderness Society in Australia, and played a key role in the campaigns that contributed to Gunns Limited’s decision to transition out of native forest logging in Tasmania. For the past two years Gemma has been involved in negotiations that lead to the signing of the $274 million Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement (TFIGA). Gemma has a background in environmental science and community organizing. Read more >

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  1. A small change for us means a huge difference for those living in these areas. If we don't make these changes it will ultimately come back on us as well.

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