Cargill announces new palm oil policy
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Cargill, the largest importer of palm oil into the United States, announced today a new palm oil sustainability policy, in response to years of campaigning by civil society groups. This policy adds to the mounting list of similar policies by consumer companies, including many of Cargill’s customers such as Nestlé, Unilever, General Mills, Mondel?z, Kellogg, Safeway, Hershey, Mars and Procter & Gamble.
Our colleagues at Rainforest Action Network, who have campaigned on Cargill for years, announced the news in a press release today. I heartily congratulate RAN and all palm oil campaigners who continue to press for change in defense of tropical forests and for the rights of those who live on the front lines of palm oil struggles globally.
As RAN notes in its press statement: this announcement from Cargill, too long in coming, is a good step but does not guarantee change on the ground until there are publicly announced deadlines, independent third party verification and an implementation plan to put Cargill’s words into action.
Cargill is among the most powerful private corporations in the world. When a company of this magnitude makes changes in its practices, it has significant impacts — and it shows the impact that consumers and environmental rights advocates can have on shifting corporate practices.
Reforming corporate practices is crucial to bringing incremental change — but ultimately we need to change the balance of power to ensure that people and planet — not profit — are the drivers of the decisions that affect our future. For us at Friends of the Earth, a victory like this is extremely welcome — but above all, it is an invitation to keep the pressure on.
Image credit: Jason Taylor, www.thesourceimage.com