Over 300 Palm Oil Retailers Receive Thousands of Letters and Their Products Get Stickered!

Written by Leila

Topics: Agribusiness

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Thank you to all of you who took action today! Whether you were one of the 2,000 people across the country who went to supermarkets to sticker products that contain palm oil, or one of our supporters who took action online and sent 600,000 letters to companies that use palm oil…THANK YOU! You helped make today a wonderful success! Palm oil retailers and the ABCs definitely got the message: consumers are concerned about the problems with palm oil and don’t want palm oil that contains rainforest destruction in our daily products.

Earlier this week we sent letters to over 300 companies that currently put palm oil in one or more of their products. We sent letters to companies ranging from multi-national corporations to small family businesses. Our goal in sending these letters was/is to inform companies of the problems with palm oil and encourage them to phase out palm oil from their products until reliable sustainable sources are available in the market. We also asked companies to work with RAN in the following ways:

• Research their supply chain and let us know who provides the palm oil that you use in their products.
• Contact their palm oil suppliers and tell them that if they are unable to provide a supply that can be independently verified as not being derived from recently cleared tropical rainforests, then they will find an alternative supplier and/or phase out palm oil from their products all together.
• Support the moratorium on palm oil expansion in tropical rainforests.

Companies that currently use palm oil received our letter, a recent LA Times op-ed, and simultaneously received thousands of letters from you. Thank You! Some companies immediately responded with e-mails to you. Others e-mailed and/or called us to express concern and cooperation, while others expressed frustration about us flooding their inboxes and servers. In response, we asked companies to make a commitment to not use palm oil in their products that destroy rainforests. Most agreed, but some insisted that they do not use palm oil (NOTE: Vitamin A Palmitate, Isopropyl Palmitate, and Retinyl Palmitate ARE palm oil) or their palm oil comes from certified responsible sources. Great! This is the kind of information we need to make change in the marketplace and pressure the ABCs.

Finally, you should know, that we are asking companies to sign our pledge to protect rainforests, family farmers and our climate. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be following up with all the companies we wrote letters to asking them to sign our pledge. Once we have critical mass, we’ll publicize the commitment of these companies and work with them to pressure the ABCs. See the pledge below.

Pledge to Protect Rainforests, Family Farmers and our Climate

As a company that uses palm oil in our products, we are alarmed to discover the social and envi-ronmental impacts of palm oil production and expansion in tropical rainforest ecosystems around the world. Our company is committed to protecting rainforests, communities and our global climate.

We call on all agribusiness companies – particularly Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge and Cargill – to use their influence with the palm oil industry to require standards that protect rainforests and peat swamps; that do not allow any use of fire for land conversion; and that respect the free, prior and informed consent of communities impacted by palm oil expansion.

We pledge our company to not purchase any palm oil that violates these standards, and we commit to work with Rainforest Action Network to ensure that sustainable alternatives to palm oil from destroyed rainforests are available in the marketplace.

P.S. Check out our press release for today’s events.

5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Lawrence says:

    We were one of the companies targeted.

    We sell high-end, gourmet specialty foods. We called RFN to find out what in our portfolio of foods had palm oil in it. W
    Our intent is to call our suppliers and pressure them. We would also like to stop selling products with Palm Oil in it. But…

    To date, RFN has not returned any of our calls (we left three) regarding this. Nobody who emailed us (we rec’d 1,678 emails) could identify any products on our site that had the offending ingredient: palm oil.

    I’d say the campaign was successful in sending out 1,300,000 pieces of unsolicited email.

    Because RFN or those who emailed have been unable or unwilling to identify for us the offensive items, I’d say any other claims of success from this campaign are dubious at best.

  2. leila says:

    Lawrence,

    First of all, I apologize that you have not received a call back. We have been talking to companies for the last two days about our concerns about palm oil in food, soaps, cosmetics and detergents. It’s possible that we made a mistake by including one of your products, but I doubt it. Only companies that market products that contain palm oil, palm kernel oil, palmitate or palmitic acid were put on our list and sent letters.

    I’ll make sure someone gets back to your tomorrow so we can tell you which of your products we found contains palm oil. Leila

    P.S. Anyone can check the cosmetic database for products that contain palm oil at: http://www.CosmeticsDatabase.com

  3. Isn’t Archer Daniels Midland associated with Target? What about the other two companies? As a former Geography teacher, I wil donating 10% of our profit to save the rainforest, from our hand crafted jewelry. http://www.rimbarayajewels.com

  4. Margaret Welke says:

    Response from Pepsico:

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding our use of palm oil and how it impacts both the environment and our company. We are working everyday within the PepsiCo system to operate in a more sustainable fashion. In particular, we are focusing on reducing our environmental footprint — including energy, water and packaging. We are also seeking to improve the nutritional quality of our portfolio.
    As it specifically regards palm oil, please be assured that we are supporting the efforts of our suppliers to address issues related to palm oil. Currently we do utilize palm oil in some of our products, though we are migrating away from its use worldwide in favor of oils lower in saturated fat. In fact, Frito-Lay North America moved out of palm oils in the 1980s and into soy oils. As of 2005, Frito-Lay North America uses corn oil and sunflower oil because they are lower in saturated fat and do not produce trans fats. And in the U.K., our Walker’s business switched to 100% high-oleic sunflower oil (“Sunseed”) to make their famous crisps. We believe this is a step in the right direction.
    We encourage our suppliers of palm oil to support sustainable efforts. In fact, we’ve asked our suppliers of palm oil to become members of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. As a customer, we seek supply-partners who will take responsible actions to address these issues.

    Respectfully,
    Paul Boykas
    Director, Public Policy
    Pepsico

  5. WaiKuan says:

    So .. All you people wants to ban palm oil but Palm oil has among the highest oil yield. If you going to ban palm oil, what are you gonna replace it with ? Planting more soy oil which uses up twice the size of palm oil ?

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