The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nell Greenberg, Communications
(415) 659-0557
,Communications Manager
(415) 659-0541
Brianna Cayo Cotter
, Communications
(415) 659-0534

Activists Occupy Cargill HQ

Nation’s Largest Private Agribusiness Company Under Fire for Rainforest Destruction


Six activists with Rainforest Action Network (RAN) have taken over the
executive offices of the nation's largest private agribusiness company.
Playing a loud recording of chainsaws cutting down rainforests and
holding signs reading "This is the sound of your supply chain," and "Mr.
Page: Rainforest Destruction Stops with You," the activists have locked
themselves to the staircase of the Lake Office, blocking the entrance
to the company's executive offices.

A dozen demonstrators are
conducting a solidarity vigil at the front of Cargill's Wayzata
headquarters, greeting employees as they enter with a 12 ft paper mache
orangutan and a sign reading: "Rainforest Destruction Starts with

The activists have requested a meeting with Gregory
Page, Cargill's CEO, and are refusing to leave until he agrees to stop
destroying rainforests and to implement a comprehensive palm oil policy
covering its entire supply chain.

"Cargill has been lying to
its customers and to our community," said Eric Nielsen, local activist
participating in today's protest. "We want CEO Greg Page to act now to
stop Cargill's destruction of rainforests before it's too late."

protest comes in the wake of a damning report directly linking Cargill,
the nation's largest importer of palm oil, to rainforest destruction in
Borneo. The report, released yesterday, documents systematic failures
by Cargill to comply with international palm oil standards and respect
Indonesian law throughout its palm oil supply chain. The report also
documents rainforest destruction on two plantations that Cargill owns,
but has hidden from the Indonesian government and its customers. Over
10,500 hectares of rainforest have been destroyed since 2005, causing
significant conflict with traditional and Indigenous communities.

has destroyed an area of rainforest the size of Disney World in Borneo,
endangering orangutans, polluting waterways and taking land and
livelihoods from local communities," said Leila Salazar-Lopez of
Rainforest Action Network. "How unsustainable can a company be?"

oil is one of the most commonly found ingredients in thousands of
consumer products, from soap and lipstick, to breakfast cereal and
soymilk. Its use is widespread and increasing around the world, but
particularly in the United States, where its consumption has tripled in
the last five years. As the nation's largest importer of palm oil,
Cargill supplies the commonly used ingredient to some of the nation's
largest food companies, including General Mills, Nestle, Mars and Kraft,
making it likely that almost all Americans have bought Cargill's palm
oil sometime within the last week.

Unfortunately, palm oil has
been tightly linked to the destruction of some of the world's remaining
rainforests. Expanding consumption has triggered expanded production,
replacing once lush rainforests with palm oil plantations and
endangering unique species including orangutans and sun bears.

full report on Cargill's activities, entitled Cargill's Problems with
Palm Oil, A Burning Threat to Borneo, can be downloaded at: https:

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices staff in Tokyo, Japan, and Edmonton, Canada, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world. We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.