Tag Archives: Cargill

Stop palm oil slavery … Ashley Schaeffer, Rainforest Action Network

The palm oil plantations that Cargill has purchased from—and distributed to America’s household food brands—are rife with human rights violations, including slavery.

Want to remove this shocking reality from your pantry? Start by letting Cargill know that slave labor is unacceptable.


In Java last year, I interviewed two men with identical stories of being lured away from their hometowns with the promise of well paid work by Cargill supplier Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK).

The two were exposed to toxic chemicals in the palm oil fields with no protection and kept under lock and key at night by armed security. Each finally escaped these horrendous slave labor conditions without ever being paid.

I need your help to convince Cargill to stop filling America’s food supply with palm oil that causes environmental and human rights violations like these.


You’ve already been a massive help in putting Cargill on the path to protecting Indonesia’s rainforests. Just last week, Cargill announced it will finally be offering North American customers palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Just two years ago Cargill claimed this was impossible. Your pressure made it happen. Thank you.

We’ve clearly got a few more steps to go to ensure Cargill’s on the right side of rainforests, and I’m asking you to take those steps by my side.


Are you with me?

For the forests,
Ashley Schaeffer
Rainforest Agribusiness Campaigner
Twitter: @probwithpalmoil

Fed up with Cargill, taking our demands to its customers

Rainforest Action Network

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.

Cargill petition delivery

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,

Jess Serrante             National Agribusiness Organizer             Twitter: @Jess_Serrante

Slave labor linked to palm oil

Rainforest Action Network
Tell Cargill CEO Gregory Page you’re outraged his company is importing palm oil made with child and slave labor
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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.
As the Businessweek piece put it: “…[B]ecause palm oil companies face little pressure from consumers to change, they continue to rely on largely unregulated contractors, who often use unscrupulous practices.”  The power is ours to change this story. TODAY. It’s time to tell Cargill, the leading supplier of palm oil in the country, that we will not stand for child and slave labor in our food.
The Businessweek piece was instigated by a nine-month investigation of the palm oil industry by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The investigation focused on one of the world’s most significant palm oil suppliers, Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK), a major Cargill supplier. KLK workers—men, women and children—were lured thousand of miles away from their homes with promises of good work. What they found was that they wouldn’t be paid for two years, but only loaned up to $16 a month for health care and company-owned food. Many workers were locked into “stifling, windowless barracks” at night, and their national identity cards and school certificates were confiscated to prevent them from escaping.
So what did Cargill have to say about the practices of its corporate partner KLK? According to Businessweek: “Cargill defended its supplier. ‘At this time, KLK is not in violation of any labor laws where they operate nor are we aware of any investigation of KLK’s labor practices,’ says Cargill spokeswoman Susan Eich in an e-mail.”
This makes me furious. Let’s make sure Cargill doesn’t get away with using a PR flack to dodge its huge role in subjecting laborers and children to horrifying working conditions.
Please take the time today to tell Cargill to get conflict palm oil and slave and child labor out of our food.
Let’s face it, news breaks every day and then disappears into the background. In fact, companies like Cargill count on it. But we’ve all seen stories that break through and facilitate epic changes. The internet really does make it possible for our communities to amplify the news we care about—news that would otherwise go unseen. Today we have the opportunity to make sure palm oil plantation workers are not alone.
In too many ways, Cargill is right at the center of palm oil’s controversial web. Cargill must adopt comprehensive safeguards to prevent palm oil connected to slave and child labor, human rights abuses and rainforest destruction from tainting the world’s food supply.
Please tell Cargill today that you demand the company have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to slave and child labor.
You’ve told us that together we need to do everything in our power to get conflict palm oil off our grocery store shelves. This article needs to become our ammunition for educating our communities and going after the companies most responsible. When you’re done writing to Cargill today please take the time to encourage your friends to do the same. Let’s not let this issue fade from the front page.

Campaigner Name

Thanks for all that you do,

Robin Averbeck             Senior Forests Campaigner

More info: Bloomberg Businessweek: “Indonesia’s Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Rights Abuses” Understory: “BREAKING: Despite New Evidence, Cargill Denies Its Palm Oil Is Being Made By Slave Laborers”

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

03/06/2013 08:12 PM EST
Tri-Union Seafoods LLC is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of Chicken of the Sea brand 5-ounce cans of chunk white albacore tuna in water. The seams on the lids of the cans do not meet the standard for seam quality.
03/06/2013 01:23 PM EST
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, has issued a voluntary recall on specific codes of 5-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna products. The recall has been issued because the products do not meet the companies standards for seal tightness.
03/05/2013 12:36 PM EST
The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) Bakery in Clackamas, Oregon is recalling select Wheat Bread products sold at the company’s Fred Meyer Stores in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and QFC stores in Oregon and Washington because these products may contain pieces of plastic. Customers should return the product to stores for a full refund or replacement.
03/05/2013 07:13 PM EST
Cargill’s animal nutrition business today announced a voluntary recall of certain brands of its ruminant mineral products because they were deficient in vitamins A, D and E. The affected products were manufactured at Cargill’s facilities in McPherson, Kansas, and Montgomery City, Missouri, between Dec. 7, 2012, and Feb. 27, 2013.

Cargill needs to come clean … Ashley Schaeffer, Rainforest Action Network

With palm oil in half of all products for sale in US grocery stores, we have the right to know the true cost of its production.image

Cargill is the #1 importer of palm oil into the US, but the company refuses to be transparent about who it does business with. For instance: Is Cargill still sourcing from the notorious palm oil company Duta Palma even though this company is embroiled in severe social conflicts with communities near its destructive palm plantations?

Dozens of people are gathering outside Cargill’s offices today in Minneapolis to ask the company to come clean about its operations.

Will you help us amplify their voices by writing to Cargill now and demanding transparency around its “no-trade list”?

In the past, Cargill has said Duta Palma was on its “no-trade list,” but the company has never made this list public and RAN has reason to believe Cargill’s policy of sourcing from any company that pays membership dues to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil allows it to get palm oil from Duta Palma.

Please email Cargill CEO Greg Page now and ask him to come clean.

In 2009, Rainforest Action Network released a case study documenting illegal rainforest burning by Duta Palma on community lands used by the people of Semunying Jaya in Borneo. Duta Palma doesn’t have permits to operate these plantations and police refuse to do anything about this blatant land theft and environmental destruction.

So community members took action themselves.

A few weeks ago, members of the Semunying Jaya community seized several pieces of machinery, trucks, bulldozers and chainsaws, then barricaded the doors of Duta Palma’s palm nursery, shutting down operations. The community members are now facing possible criminal charges for standing up for the health and safety of their home.

We have the right to know: Is Cargill profiting from the oppression of the people of Semunying Jaya by buying palm oil from Duta Palma? Please demand transparency now.

For the forests,

Ashley Schaeffer

Rainforest Agribusiness Campaigner