Cargill Losing Minnesota Community Support Over Rainforest Destruction

Written by Hillary Lehr

Topics: Agribusiness

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Activists chat with Wayzata, MN residents on September 10-11 at the annunal J. J. Hill parade.

If a place exists where Cargill has spent the time and resources to look as proper as the front row of a church on Sunday, it’s in the wealthy Minnesota suburbs where the quiet giant is headquartered.

Unfortunately for everyone else, Minnesota is also the only place (besides the Internet) where Cargill bothers to try and resemble a good neighbor. For the rest of us — from your average American carnivore to San Francisco Bay conservationists to palm oil plantation workers — Cargill is a name as rotten as a recalled turkey sausage. As CEO Greg Page will tell you, Cargill’s in it for the money above all else.

Cargill released some updated palm oil commitments in July 2011. The problem is that these commitments are too little, too late. They still don’t comprise a solid policy with safeguards regarding climate impacts and labor conditions, both HUGE problems with palm oil.

Now, it seems like Cargill is even losing ground in its hometown. Local Minnesota activists attended Wayzata’s annual James H. Hill Parade last weekend to distribute a flier setting the facts straight about Cargill and palm oil. Maybe you wouldn’t expect palm oil activists in Cargill’s hometown to be very well received, but they were!

Cargill flier on a Wayzata windshield

When activists handed out the fliers, they had to actually explain that they weren’t with Cargill, but actually taking action to change the company. Only after the activists explained that they weren’t with Cargill were people willing to talk with them. And once they learned about the campaign, Wayzata parade-goers (and even Cargill employees) were supportive of the activists’ efforts. Multiple people told them to keep up the good work.

Well, we will certainly keep up the good work. Thanks Wayzata!

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