August 23, 2011
How a Palm Oil Company Makes Its Profit
Cargill Inc., the world’s largest agricultural trader – and the largest importer of rainforest-destroying palm oil in to the US – just reported a record net profit of $4.2 billion. That’s a 63% increase over the same period last year.
From Girl Scout cookies to laundry detergents to lipstick, Cargill’s palm oil finds its way into almost every American home and many more around the world. Chances are, there’s some of that palm oil in your cabinet or laundry room right now.
Tell Cargill’s CEO that record profits are nothing to celebrate when they come at the expense of record deforestation.
So what does Cargill’s palm oil really cost?
The sad truth is that Cargill’s palm oil operation has been run with the ruthless mentality of a cut-throat trader: buy low, sell high and to hell with the inconvenience of considering the impact on people and planet. This has meant turning a blind eye to slave labor, the eviction of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral land, and the destruction of rainforest habitat for endangered orangutans.
Rainforest Action Network, however, has Cargill’s attention. They have been putting so much pressure on Cargill by exposing their methods to the general public. Cargill, therefore, has begun taking steps to clean up its tainted supply chain. It still has quite a long way to go. Cargill needs to be pushed all the way.
Ask Cargill’s CEO Greg Page to go the distance to protect Indonesia’s rainforests, human rights and critical habitat for endangered orangutans.
You will be helping to move the largest privately held company in the world to include human rights and the environment in its bottom line. It is no small task.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.