Friends of the Earth works with our allies and supporters to lead effective market campaigns to advance a more sustainable and just food system.
- Eliminating neonics from garden retailers: Great news! Due to the efforts of Friends of the Earth and allies, over the past two years, more than 110 garden retailers, nurseries and landscaping companies, including the two largest home improvement retailers in the world, Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as Costco, Wal-Mart, True Value and Whole Foods, have committed to take steps to eliminate neonicotinoids. Our members helped make this happen by signing petitions, delivering letters, making phone calls and showing up in person at the retailers to demand change. Thank you to the over half million people who made their voices heard! Check out this list of retailers and download our letter.
- Making grocery stores bee-friendly: Food retailers can commit to stop stocking their shelves with food that was grown with bee-killing pesticides and offer more organic foods, which were grown with methods that are healthier for bees, butterflies and all of us. Friends of the Earth is asking top grocery stores to eliminate pollinator-toxic pesticides in their supply chains and increase their offerings of organic food.
- Holding corporations accountable: Friends of the Earth’s Buzz Kill and Follow the Honey reports expose the pesticide companies that are spending big and playing dirty to fight common sense efforts to protect bees. They’re spending millions to lobby state legislatures, Congress and regulators and using deceptive tobacco-style PR tactics to manufacture doubt about science to delay action on bee-killing pesticides. Their executives are taking high-level jobs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other regulatory agencies in between jobs at Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto. So it’s no surprise that these agencies are slow to act on neonics — many of the people who are supposed to be regulating these products have profited from them in the past!
- Chain Reaction report creates a chain reaction: Friends of the Earth led a coalition that published the 2015 Chain Reaction scorecard on how top restaurants rate on reducing use of antibiotics in their meat supply — all but five received a failing grade. The follow up report Chain Reaction II reveals that thanks to pressure by Friends of the Earth, allies and the public there has been chain reaction of positive change throughout the industry — Tyson, Perdue, Cargill, Subway, In-N-Out Burger, Papa John’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have all made public commitments to stop producing and/or buying meat raised with routine antibiotics in order to help protect these vital medicines for human health.
- Subway: Months after receiving a letter signed by nearly 50 organizations and just weeks after receiving an F in the Chain Reaction scorecard and getting nearly 300,000 petition signatures from consumers like you, Subway announced plans to eliminate antibiotics from its meat supply. The company has made good progress on chicken and we continue to urge rapid implementation of its policy on pork and beef.
- In-N-Out Burger: Just one day after Friends of the Earth and our allies launched a campaign asking In-N-Out Burger to eliminate the overuse of antibiotics in its supply chain, the iconic West Coast restaurant chain made a public commitment to stop selling beef produced with routine antibiotics. We continue to press the company as it has not yet announced a concrete plan or timeline. We are also urging the company to offer an organic, grass-fed burger on its menu.
- McDonald’s: In 2015, McDonald’s committed to eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics in chicken; and in August 2016, it announced that it had reached its goal in 100 per cent of its chicken. We are now pushing it to expand that commitment to pork and beef. To learn more about our work with McDonald’s, read our EcoWatch blog.
- Pressure from civil society and investors: In September 2015, Friends of the Earth and 109 of our allies sent a letter to the CEOs of the top 25 restaurant chains urging them to eliminate the routine use of antibiotics in their meat supply. And it’s not just organizations that are making their voices heard. A coalition of investors representing $1.4 trillion in assets have demanded corporate action to end the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
- Olive Garden and Darden Restaurants: Friends of the Earth has joined together with leading environmental, public health, animal welfare and worker justice organizations in the Good Food Now! campaign to urge Olive Garden and its parent company, Darden Restaurants, to to clean up its plate. With more than $6.7 billion in sales and 1,500 restaurants that serve 320 million meals every year, Darden has the purchasing power and responsibility to create positive change in our food system. Friends of the Earth supporters and our allies delivered 130,000 petitions urging Darden Restaurant to support a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system that includes a valued workforce, more humane and organic items on the menu, a 20 percent reduction in meat and dairy purchases, and elimination of antibiotic overuse in animal products. By serving smaller portion sizes of more humane and sustainable meat and dairy and offering more organic and plant-based choices, Darden can improve public health and help reduce food waste, conserve water, curb greenhouse gas emissions and shift production away from factory farms. Check out these great articles in The Guardian and FoodTank for more on the campaign.
- Intrexon’s Arctic® Apple: After the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the first GMO apple in 2015, Intrexon — the company that owns it — planted the first commercial scale orchards of GMO apple trees. These GMO apples pose risks to the environment, our health and apple farmers, and are completely unnecessary (they are engineered to not turn brown when sliced). The first GMO apples are likely to enter the market soon. Thanks to people like you, Friends of the Earth and allies convinced Gerber, McDonald’s and Wendy’s to say NO to GMO apples! But other major companies, including Burger King, are still holding out. If we can convince additional companies to reject these apples, we still have a shot at stopping the flood of poorly-regulated unlabeled GMO apples into the market before they reach our dinner plates.
- AquaBounty’s AquAdvantage® Salmon: Despite Food and Drug Administration approval, GMO salmon may be dead in the water. Thanks to the inspiring work of thousands of Friends of the Earth members and allies, nearly 80 grocery retailers with nearly 11,000 stores nationwide have listened to scientists and consumers and made commitments to not sell GMO salmon; these include Costco and Kroger, the second and third largest retailers in the world, and Albertsons, Safeway, Target, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. A growing number of chefs and restaurant chains have made similar commitments, including Red Lobster and Legal Sea Foods. Large retailers including Walmart and Publix have not yet committed to keep GMO salmon off their shelves.