Last week, over a dozen local Twin Cities community members, including members of the Walker Church social justice chapter, children, and concerned parents, paid Mr. Page – Cargill CEO – a visit. The group went all the way to the CEO’s home in Wayzata, MN to deliver hundreds of letters, many hand-written, from children around the world who are very upset that he is not doing enough to protect the imperiled rainforests in Indonesia.
The appeals from the hundreds of kids who wrote these letters to Mr. Page are diverse, but all share one thing in common: disappointment that the head of one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations, Cargill, Inc., is putting corporate profit over the interests of forest communities, endangered species and the climate.
Although Cargill has been taking baby steps in the right direction, the company still has yet to adopt a palm oil policy to ensure that its palm oil production and trading arms aren’t destroying rainforests. And what’s almost worse, Cargill recently showed that they can’t distinguish fact from fiction in their failure to de-list Sinar Mas in the wake of heightened public scrutiny by groups including WWF, with whom Cargill is collaborating.
It is worth noting that since RAN released our report highlighting Cargill’s problems with palm oil in Borneo, Cargill has engaged with customers including Kraft and General Mills, initiated a supply chain audit in collabroation with WWF, has plans to assess their own HSL plantation in Borneo, and most recently obtained RSPO certification for its PT Hindoli smallholder plantations. These are all important first steps but until Cargill adopts a palm oil policy that publicly verifies the company’s forest safeguards, Mr. Page is going to hear from thousands of additional concerned children.
Before this peaceful group even got to the CEO’s front gate carrying the hundreds of letters, the police came and kindly asked them to leave, promising he would deliver them to Mr. Page himself. The children were disappointed but hopeful that Mr. Page would read the letters and hear the message loud and clear: Mr. Page: Future Generations are Counting on You!