My name is Adelbert Gangai. I am from the Maisin tribe and work with the nine tribes from the Collingwood Bay region of Papua New Guinea. Our culture is intrinsically entwined and our livelihoods are entirely dependent on the primary forest that surrounds us.
But recently there is a threat that the palm oil company KLK will destroy the subsistence life style we have maintained since time immemorial by attempting to illegally develop over 100,000 acres of our customary lands against our will. Fortunately, KLK has a weak spot—HSBC Bank is one of KLK’s principal bankers. Will you take a moment to tell HSBC to use its influence to pressure KLK to stop expanding on our lands?
Our chiefs issued a rare joint communiqué in 2010 voicing the consensus of the residents of Collingwood Bay—who total over 7,000 people from 326 clans in 22 villages scattered across our coastline—that we do not wish to have industrial palm oil plantations established on our land under any circumstances.
Will you stand with us and send a message today to HSBC—a key banker of KLK—asking it to use its influence to urge KLK to stop these misguided plans before this controversy escalates into a full blown conflict?
RAN sponsored a colleague from Collingwood Bay and myself this past month to bring our case to the annual meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in Sumatra. Thanks in large part to the pressure generated by over 12,000 RAN supporters like you, who took action to demand that KLK meet with us and that the RSPO finally take steps to address the formal complaint we filed more than a half a year ago, progress was made on both fronts.
Thank you for making this an issue that KLK and the RSPO can no longer ignore. But no real commitments have yet been made and right now, large earth moving equipment and a KLK barge containing palm oil seeds still sits just off our coastline. The anxiety this has created has driven members of our community to establish a blockade between the ship and the access route to our land.
We would now like to ask our friends and partners in the international community to take up our call and increase the pressure on KLK by asking one of its key bankers, HSBC, to use its leverage with KLK to push for a total withdrawal from our territory. For good.
We have witnessed what has happened to other communities in Papua New Guinea and around the world whose lands have been over-run by industrial palm oil plantations. They have been marginalized and become slaves on their own land. We do not wish this for the people of Collingwood Bay.
Our communities have fought and won against multinational corporations trying to develop our lands before. With your help, we will prevail in preserving this special place once again.
Thank you so much for your support,
To get cheap palm oil, top snack food brands are doing business with companies that are driving the last 60,600 wild orangutans to extinction, committing human rights violations and destroying rainforests.
|Call out companies using “Conflict Palm Oil”|
Today, I’m excited to announce Rainforest Action Network‘s ambitious new campaign to save some of the world’s most important rainforests and the last remaining wild orangutans from “Conflict Palm Oil.”
It’s called The Last Stand of the Orangutan, and 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. (See full list of companies below.)
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.
Our campaign launched this morning 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.
Today’s 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 industrial palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia.
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.
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.
For the great red ape,
Gemma Tillack Senior Agribusiness Campaigner @ProbWithPalmOil
Introducing 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.
- Nissin Food Holdings
- The Hershey Company
- The JM Smucker Company
It has begun!
I’m here in Minnesota today to kick off The Power Is In Your Palm Tour, a traveling roadshow that will visit a dozen of the Snack Food 20—companies using conflict palm oil in their popular snack food products—at their US headquarters. I’ll be working with the dedicated activists on the Palm Oil Action Team to deliver our demands to each of these companies: Take conflict palm oil tied to rainforest destruction, orangutan extinction, and human rights violations out of your snack foods!
Fittingly, we started the tour at the world headquarters of Cargill, the #1 importer of conflict palm oil into the US. We just hand-delivered over 100,000 petitions calling on Cargill to commit to transparency and safeguards that will eliminate the conflict palm oil that is driving orangutans to the brink of extinction from its global supply chain.
After years of making similar demands, though, we’re tired of waiting. Cargill has had its chance to do the right thing. After today, we’re taking our demands directly to Cargill’s customers—many of whom are amongst the Snack Food 20.
The Power Is In Your Palm Tour will travel across the US to deliver the message far and wide that you and me can change how these companies do business. When we take action, the Snack Food 20 will have to remove conflict palm oil from their products. And to do that, the Snack Food 20 will have to tell Cargill that it’s time to remove conflict palm oil from its supply chain.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Sign up for the Palm Oil Action Team—you’ll get all the latest calls to action and will make a huge contribution to The Power Is In Your Palm Tour. Together, we’ll pressure the Snack Food 20 to change their ways.
2. Chip in $5 to keep the tour rolling! We can’t do any of this without your support. Just $5 will go a long way.
It’s so important that you get involved now because we have truly reached The Last Stand of the Orangutan. Best estimates place the population of orangutans in the wilds of Sumatra and Borneo at just 60,600. We really have no time to waste in convincing the Snack Food 20 and Cargill to make sure the products they sell aren’t destroying precious habitat for these great red apes.
Thanks for all you do! And stay tuned, because the next event of The Power Is In Your Palm Tour is going down this Thursday, and we’ll finally be naming the Snack Food 20 and publicly calling on them to clean up their act. You’ll have a big role to play in making that call as loud and clear as possible!
For the great red ape,
Businessweek has released a groundbreaking article connecting Indonesia‘s palm oil industry to widespread cases of forced and child labor. The stories are truly terrifying, including workers, many of whom are children, being defrauded, abused, and held captive on palm plantations. All to grow a plant and extract its oil for use in junk food, lipsticks and other household items in our supermarkets.