Liviya James

Soy and Cattle: Report 3

Rapid Response Monitoring System

Soy and Cattle, Report 3 | July 2019 

Based on June 2019 alerts

Prepared with

VIew as PDF

This report presents 9 cases of deforestation alerts from DETER (System for Monitoring Deforestation on Real Time) and PRODES (Program for Deforestation Calculation) observed between 27 April and 27 May 2019, in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes within Brazil. Seven cases are linked to private properties in 7 municipalities within the states of Bahia, Piauí, Maranhão and Mato Grosso. One of the cases presents deforestation alerts found in the National Forest of Jamanxim and in overlapping areas with the PDS Vale do Jamanxim, in Novo Progresso, Pará state. The first is a category of federal natural conservation area, and the second a type of rural settlement within the national program of agrarian reform. Finally, the report presents a summary of deforestation alerts found inside Indigenous lands and details their legal status within the demarcation process, from initial stages to full recognition and demarcation.

Soy and Cattle: Report 2

Rapid Response Monitoring System

Soy and Cattle, Report 2 | July 2019 

Based on April 2019 alerts

Prepared with

VIew as PDF

The present report presents fourteen cases of deforestation alerts in Brazil observed between 27 March and 27 April 2019 by DETER (System for Monitoring Deforestation in Real Time) and PRODES (Program for Deforestation Calculation). The fourteen cases cover deforestation alerts in eight municipalities of five Brazilian states: Piauí, Bahia, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, and Roraima.


Cargill Report Citations


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  2. Painter, Kristen Leigh, Major executive shuffle at Cargill: Dines appointed CFO as Smits heads to Asia, Minnesota Star Tribune, OCTOBER 30, 2018,
  3. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination, Aug 23, 2018, internet/main/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2018/recall-069-2018-release; US Department of Agriculture, Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products due to Possible E. coli O26 Contamination, Sep 19, 2018,
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  8. Watson, Fiona, 2018, Protect the lone Amazonian tribesman. He deserves to live in peace., July 27,
  9. Meyer, G. (2019, Jun1 13). Cargill warns goal of halting deforestation will be missed. Retrieved from Financial Times: a1c1-51bf8f989972
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  12. Climate Home News, Bolsonaro has made grim threats to the Amazon and its people, August 10, 2018, http://www.
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  20. Cargill CEO Announces Major Action on Forests, September 23, 2014, breaking-cargill-ceo-announces-major-action-onforests/.
  21. Oil Seed and Grain News, Accessed January 28, 2019,
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  23. Farm Animal Investmernt Risk and Return, n.d., Cerrado Manifesto Statement of Support, Accessed January 28, 2019,; Mighty Earth, 2017, Still At It, May, http://www. pdf.
  24. Union of Concerned Scientists, 2019, Tropical Deforestation and Global Warming, January 28, https://
  25. World Resources Institute, 2016, Degraded Land in Latin America Could Yield Billions if Restored, Shows New Report, October 28, release-degraded-land-latin-america-could-yieldbillions-if-restored-shows-new-report.
  26. Consumer Goods Forum, 2017, Twenty-three Global Companies Pledge to Helping Tackle Soy-Driven Deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado, October 25, http://
  27. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 2010, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010: Extent of forest resources, docrep/013/i1757e/i1757e02.pdf.
  28. Terazono, Emiko, 2014, Welcome to the world of Big Chocolate, December 18, content/80e196cc-8538-11e4-ab4e-00144feabdc0.
  29. Mighty Earth, 2017, CHOCOLATE’S DARK SECRET, September, uploads/2017/09/chocolates_dark_secret_english_web. pdf.
  30. Brannon, Keith, 2015, 2013/14 Survey Research on Child Labor in the West African Cocoa Sector, Tulane University: School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, php/2013-14-final-report.
  31. World Cocoa Foundation, 2018, Remarks: Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) Annual Meeting, July 17, blog/2018-child-labor-cocoa-coordinating-group-8thannual-meeting-remarks.
  33. Potter, Leslie, 2008, Dayak resistance to oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, July, https://
  34. Al-Mahmood, Syed Zain, 2015, Palm-Oil Migrant Workers Tell of Abuses on Malaysian Plantations, Wall Street Journal, July 16, palm-oil-migrant-workers-tell-of-abuses-on-malaysianplantations-1437933321; Rukmantara, Arie, 2006, Government to sue firms over forest fires, Jakarta Post, September 2; Wakker, Erik, April, 2006, The Kalimantan Border Oil Palm Mega-Project, AIDEnvironement.
  35. The Jakarta Post, 2014, Malaysian firm fined, executives get prison for role in forest fires, Septmeber 11, http://
  36. Koplitz, Shannon N, and et al., September 19 2016, Public health impacts of the severe haze in Equatorial Asia in September–October 2015: demonstration of a new framework for informing fire management strategies to reduce downwind smoke exposure, Environmental Research Letters Volume 11, Number 9, article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/094023.
  37. Forest Heroes, 2014, IOI: The Worst Company You’ve Never Heard Of, August 14, http://www.forestheroes. org/ioi-the-worst-company-youve-never-heard-of/; Jacobson, Philip, 2016, Malaysian palm oil giant IOI suspended from RSPO, March 25 March, https://news.
  38. Rainforest Action Network. (2011, April 27). IOI Group: Stop Undermining Indigenous Rights. Retrieved from The Understory: ioi_group_stop_undermining_indigenous_rights/
  39. Taufik, Kiki, 2016, Unilever palm oil supplier must suspend all plantation expansion to save reputation, The Guardian, April 9, sustainable-business/2016/apr/09/ioi-malaysian-palmoil-company-unilever-mars-kellogg-rspo-deforestation.
  40. Greenpeace, R. F. (2017, May). Policy and Implementation Milestones for IOI Group. Retrieved from pages/17714/attachments/original/1494891149/ IOIPolicyImplementationMilestones_20170510. pdf?1494891149
  41. Friends of the Earth, 2017, Agribusiness Giant Cargill Suspends Contract with Controversial Guatemalan Palm Oil Producer Over Environmental and Human Rights Violations, December 19, news/agribusiness-giant-cargill-suspends-contractcontroversial-guatemalan-palm-oil-producerenvironmental-human-rights-violations/.
  42. Cargill. (2019, February). Cargill Commitment on Human Rights. Retrieved from Cargill: https://www.
  43. Friends of the Earth, Forest Heroes, SumOfUs, 2013, Commodity Crimes: Illicit Land Grabs, Illegal Palm Oil, and Endangered Orangutans, November 27.
  44. Cargill, Inc. n.d., Beef North America, Accessed January 28, 2018,
  45. US EPA Enforcement and Compliance History (ECHO)
  46. The Pulitzer Prizes, (2010), The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Explanatory Reporting. Retrieved January 28, 2019, from
  47. Moss, Michael, 2009, The Burger That Shattered Her Life, New York Times, October 3, https://www.nytimes. com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html.
  48. Moss, Michael, 2009, Safety Plan Not Followed, New York Times, October 3, https://www.nytimes. com/interactive/projects/documents/food-safetydocuments#p=15&a=542.
  49. Avella, Joe, 2017, Here’s how McDonald’s hamburgers are actually made, Business Insider, February 2, https://; Hamblin, James, 2014, Come Tour the McNugget Factory, The Atlantic, February 4, health/archive/2014/02/come-tour-the-mcnuggetfactory/283633/.
  50. Union of Concerned Scientists, 2019, Tropical Deforestation and Global Warming, January 28, https://
  51. Redman, Russell, 2018, Ahold Delhaize USA to build new meat packaging plant, Supermarket News, October 15,; Winsight Grocery Business, 2018, Officials Break Ground on Ahold Delhaize Meat Facility, October 12, https://www.
  52. Sysco, Inc., 2017, Sysco Corporation Honors 2017 Top Suppliers, October 30, http://investors.sysco. com/annual-reports-and-sec-filings/news-releas es/2017/10-30-2017-210004288.
  53. Forum for the Future, n.d., The Protein Challenge 2040, Accessed January 28, 2018, https://www.
  54. Ahold Delhaize, n.d., Human rights, Stakeholder interests, Accessed January 28, 2019, https://www.aholddelhaize. com/en/about-us/stakeholder-interests/human-rights/.
  55. Redman, Russell, 2018; Winsight Grocery Business, 2018.
  56. Gross, Anna Sophie, 2018, Soy giant Louis Dreyfus pledges deforestation-free supply chain, July 16, https://
  57. Jun Lyu, Chairman, COFCO Corporation, 2019, We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now, January 24, https://www.cofcointernational. com/newsroom/jun-lyu-we-can-feed-the-world-in-asustainable-way-but-we-need-to-act-now/.
  58. 51bf8f989972
  60.; wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/07/26122358/CerradoManifesto-SoS-Terms-of-Reference-updated-July-2018. pdf
  61. cerradomanifesto_september2017_atualizadooutubro. pdf
  62. agronegocio/237742-cargill-divulga-carta-aosprodutores-brasileiros-e-se-diz-contraria

Photo Credits:

  1. Cover: Sasin School of Management
  2. Inside Front Cover: Jim Wickens / Ecostorm
  3. Page 3: Mighty Earth
  4. Page 5: Aerovista Luchtfotografie /
  5. Page 6: Mighty Earth
  6. Page 7: Simon Mayer
  7. Page 8: Protesters: Mighty Earth; Sizzler sign: Jeremy Brooks; fish kill: Mighty Earth; Packaged meat in supermarket: US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  8. Page 9: Big Mac: t-mizo; fish kill: Soibe / WikiMedia Commons
  9. Page 10 Palm oil nuts: Mighty Earth; shaking hands: Best Picko; dead fish: Natasha C. Dunn; Uzbek woman picking cotton: Maximum Exposure PR; dead fish: Rafael Saldaña
  10. Page 11: Supermarket meat shelves: USDA; Safeway exterior: Mike Mozart; River in Oklahoma: Toni Klemm / Flickr
  11. Page 12: Pork processing plant: USDA; Cargill Beef Plant: Bidgee / WikiMedia Commons; Brimbob: AWG97 / WikiMedia Commons; Food Safety Inspection Service inspector: USDA
  12. Page 13: Department of Labor Sign: Matt Popovich; Congreso Nacional Argentino: Agustingagliardone / WikiMedia Commons; Meat in supermarket shelves: USDA; chains and bars: Niran Phonruang
  13. Page 14: CFTC Sign: Mark Van Scyoc; Indonesian child harvesting palm fruit: Wakx / Flickr
  14. Page 15: Packaged ground beef: Hailey Godburn / KOMU News; Beardstown, Illinois fish kill: Environmental Integrity Project
  15. Page 16: Amy Duchelle / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  16. Page 17: Mighty Earth
  17. Page 18: Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR
  18. Page 19: Frans Harren
  19. Page 20: Neil Palmer / International Center for Tropical Agrigulture via CIFOR
  20. Page 21: Marco Simola / CIFOR
  21. Page 22: Mighty Earth
  22. Page 23: Rainforest: Nanang Sujana / CIFOR; MacLennan: Adrees Latif / Reuters
  23. Page 24: Mighty Earth
  24. Page 25: Jim Wickens / Ecostorm
  25. Page 26: Mighty Earth
  26. Page 27: Christoph Diewald
  27. Page 28: The Nature Conservancy
  28. Page 29: Jim Wickens / Ecostorm
  29. Page 30: Trade for Development
  30. Page 31: Daniel Rosenthal / laif / Mighty Earth
  31. Page 32: Yerimia Leo
  32. Page 33: Axel Fassio/CIFOR
  33. Page 34: Aerovista Luchtfotografie /
  34. Page 35: Roger Allen North Downs Picture Agency
  35. Page 36–37: Craig Sonter • Page 38: Photology1971 /
  36. Page 39: Gian Ehrenzeller / EPA-EFE / REX
  37. Page 40: Mighty Earth
  38. Page 41: Yudhi Mahendra / Mighty Earth
  39. Page 42: Supermarket News
  40. Page 43: Aleksandar Malivuk /
  41. Page 44–45: Eduardo Betioli /
  42. Page 46: Tim Cronin / CIFOR
  43. Pages 48, 50: Axel Fassio / CIFOR
  44. Back Cover:Jim Wickens / Ecostorm

Standing up for forests and farmers

Mighty Earth applauds the government of Cote d’Ivoire for seeking to better protect its forests and for its willingness to move towards a greener future, putting behind the bitter past of losing 85 percent of its forests since 1990. Likewise, we welcome positive elements in the new Ivorian forest code, recently adopted by the Ivorian National Assembly.

However—we are gravely concerned by the implications of mass evictions from parks and protected areas.  Incentivized by decades of the $100-billion-a-year chocolate industry turning a bind eye to forest destruction and funding illegal cocoa production in these areas, 1.5 - 2 million people thought to be living illegally in the parks and protected areas of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana

In its declaration, the Ministre des Eaux et Forêts was clear that protected areas will be emptied of their inhabitants.

We call urgently for the recognition and respect of the human rights of these  inhabitants. These people have rights and must be protected from abuses.

Published below is our recent Joint Human Rights Watch-Mighty Earth Cote d'Ivoire Dispatch regarding the urgent need to guarantee the human rights of illegal cocoa farmers. Also below is  a 2018 open letter, co-signed by Mighty Earth, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Le Regroupement des Acteurs Ivoiriens des Droits de l'Homme(RAIDH), and Fern, regarding egregious abuses of illegal cocoa farmers inside the Ivorian national park of Marahoue.

This previously unpublished letter presents the findings of a joint investigation to the government of Cote d’Ivoire.  Following unsuccessful negotiations with the government, led by senior environmental advisor to the president, Dr. Mamadou Fofana, authorities declared that the government of Cote d’Ivoire would refuse to hold any perpetrators accountable or to compensate victims in any way. Given the risks that farmers now face, the Marahoue case has renewed relevance, and so we publish it today, along with videos and photos taken during the Marahoue field investigation.

We call on the Ivorian authorities to protect human rights and allow independent civil society monitors to observe any actions taken. In parallel, we call upon the chocolate industry to create a humanitarian aid fund to compensate farmers who are expelled from parks and protected areas. Having created the conditions leading to the illegal occupations of these areas the industry has a moral responsibility to finance solutions, and assist expelled farmers in rebuilding their lives.

Farmers Face New Round of Eviction from Protected Forests in Côte d’Ivoire

Government Should Ensure Small-Scale Farmers Receive Adequate Notice, Compensation

Jim Wormington, Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Etelle Higonnet, Campaign and Legal Director, Mighty Earth

Côte d’Ivoire, fighting widespread and rapidly advancing deforestation, is embarking on an ambitious plan to reclaim and rehabilitate its forests. As it moves to protect a key national resource, the government needs to be careful not to trample of the rights of the thousands of small-scale farmers now facing eviction.

Côte d’Ivoire has seen its forest decline from 50 percent of its territory in 1900 to less than 12 percent in 2015. Much of the deforestation has been driven by Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry – the world’s biggest – with the government estimating between 30 and 40 percent of cocoa comes from protected forests. Most cocoa is produced by small-scale farmers who receive only a fraction of the profits from crop sales.

In June 2018, Côte d’Ivoire published a new forestry policy that would convert most of its decimated protected forests to Agro-Forests, with multinational companies – mostly from the lucrative global chocolate industry – responsible for developing sustainable agroforestry cocoa farming methods. For the remaining forests, the Ministry for Water and Forests proposes to strictly enforce long-neglected laws banning farming and occupying protected forests and national parks.

The implementation of the new forestry policy will likely result in the evictions of thousands of small-scale cocoa farmers, with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million cocoa farmers living in protected forests and national parks in Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring Ghana. The Ivorian protected forest of Scio, for example, where thousands of people live, reportedly received notice of an eviction operation planned for July.

Although the Ivorian government has the right to reclaim forests intended for conservation, international law protects anyone who occupies land from forced evictions that do not respect the dignity and rights of those affected, regardless of where they are living.

Past eviction operations in Côte d’Ivoire have left farmers’ families without adequate shelter, food, and education, and we have documented extortion, corruption, and physical abuses committed by government agents conducting evictions. In an October 2017 letter on the creation of Agro-Forests, we also warned that large agricultural companies often fail to protect the rights of small-scale farmers, especially when national regulations are unclear or not enforced.

The Ivorian government is right to want to protect and rehabilitate forests. But it should ensure that evictions are only used as a last resort and farmers receive adequate notice, compensation for property and crops, and assistance finding new land or obtaining new livelihoods. Measures to protect the environment, such as the protection of protected forests, should be implemented while respecting the rights of those who live in the area.

This piece is crossposted from Human Rights Watch

More photos and videos.

Read Marahoue letter in French here.

Read Marahoue letter in English here.

Cargill Named "Worst Company in the World"

Cargill Named "Worst Company in the World"

New report documents US-based agribusiness giant’s “ineptitude and incoherence at a grand scale.”

July 11, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Environmental campaign organization Mighty Earth announced today that it had named Minnesota-based Cargill as the “Worst Company in the World” due to its unscrupulous business practices, environmental destruction, and repeated insistence on standing in the way of global progress on sustainability. Mighty Earth’s new report, “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World,” documents decades of bad acts by the company and highlights the need for urgent action.

“In my 40-year long career in Congress, I took on a range of companies that engaged in abusive practices,” former congressman and Mighty Earth Chairman Henry Waxman writes in the report. “I have seen firsthand the harmful impact of businesses that do not bring their ethics with them to work. But Cargill stands out.”

“As one of the largest companies in the world, Cargill has a responsibility to address its outsized impact,” Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz said. “Mighty Earth runs campaigns around the globe to advocate for sustainable business practices, and Cargill kept showing up when our investigations identified bad actors. Whether we were working on palm oil in Southeast Asia, cocoa farming in West Africa, or soy cultivation in South America, Cargill was always there, ready to thwart progress and impede joint conservation efforts. Given their ubiquity and obstinance, we decided it was time to take a closer look at their checkered past.”

For months, Mighty Earth has engaged in discussions with Cargill, including at the CEO level, to address the report’s findings and seek long-term solutions. Mighty Earth has served as a key convener for other sectors – including rubber, chocolate, and palm oil – as those companies sought to improve their environmental standards and impacts. However, Cargill has refused, time and time again, to substantively address the problems Mighty Earth identified. Instead, Cargill continues to prioritize the deforesters in its supply chains over the climate or their customers’ sustainability demands.

“In press releases and public statements, the agribusiness giant Cargill presents itself as frustrated with deforestation, as though it were some externality they have no control over, like bad weather,” Hurowitz said. “But deforestation isn’t something that’s happening to Cargill, it’s something that Cargill is doing.”

Mighty Earth’s new report identifies Ahold Delhaize – an international supermarket giant that owns Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion, Hannaford, and many other brands – as a key customer of Cargill that could take immediate action. Ahold Delhaize, despite its own corporate sustainability pledges, recently broke ground on a new meat packaging facility in Rhode Island as a joint venture with Cargill.

“It’s important for Ahold Delhaize and other Cargill customers to set new sourcing standards that eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. They have the power to force Cargill’s hand, but continued inaction makes them complicit in Cargill’s malfeasance,” said Mighty Earth Senior Director for Forests Mat Jacobson. “Cargill has only gotten away with its bad behavior for so long because it is not a consumer-facing brand. But if folks knew the food they get at McDonald’s, Stop & Shop, or Target was destroying the rainforests or had been produced with child slavery, they’d be shocked.”

The release of Mighty Earth’s groundbreaking report kicks-off a multimillion-dollar, multi-year campaign targeting Cargill and its customers that will urge the agribusiness giant to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses from its supply chain. To launch the campaign, local Mighty Earth activists and allies including Minnesota Clean Water Action honored Cargill for its dubious distinction with a rally outside Cargill headquarters in Minnesota at which it awarded the company a “thumbs down” placard.

About the Report

Major findings:

  • Cargill is poised to further wreak havoc on fragile ecosystems in Brazil, taking advantage of President Bolsonaro’s rollback of vital environmental protections. In 2014, Cargill pledged to end deforestation for all commodities in its supply chain by 2020. With just one year left, Cargill has continued to incentivize deforestation, remained one of the worst actors on the world stage, and now stands poised to embrace the dawning of a Bolsonaro-era free-for-all in Brazil’s forests.
  • In November 2017, Cargill was fined $10 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for years of deliberately misreporting its trade values – by up to 90 percent – in order to defraud both the government and its trading partners. In October 2018, David Dines, the Cargill executive responsible for these violations, was promoted to Chief Financial Officer.
  • Indigenous peoples who depend on forests have had their land encroached upon by Cargill-linked soy plantations in Brazil. They have been forced off of their traditional lands and have experienced sharp increases in cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and other illnesses linked to pesticides and herbicides used to grow soy – often sprayed by planes directly overhead.
  • Cargill is one of the top ten polluters in the US food industry for more than a dozen pollutants, including formaldehyde, lead, asbestos, hydrogen cyanide, and mercury.

Photo and video assets relating to the report and Cargill’s operations across different commodities are available for media.

Contact: Alex Armstrong, [email protected]

A Timeline of Bad Behavior - Citations

That Cargill would make a grand commitment and then ignore it shouldn’t be a big surprise.

From having their membership in the Chicago Board of Trade suspended shortly after incorporating for trying to corner the market on corn and artificially drive up its price, to being responsible for the distribution of  more than 150,000 pounds of contaminated beef to supermarkets just last year

— Cargill has a long and sordid history of duplicity, deception and destruction. Just the past two de- cades provide dozens of examples.

Deadly Listeria Outbreak:


50,000 fish killed: 


Fecal Contamination:


Salmonella outbreak:


Quote from Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter:


15 to 50 times the limit:


A quarter of a million pounder:




More than 60 million gallons of toxic waste:,-fla.,-creek


Price Fixing Corn Syrup:


Forced child labor:


Uzbeki Slavery:


More dead fish:


Systematic Violations:


Poultry waste:


Coli Recalls 845,000 Pounds of Beef:


Salmonella in 15 States:


20,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Contaminated:


Coli Down Under:


…And more E. Coli:


Intimidating Villagers in Indonesia:


40 Cases of Salmonella in 8 States:,_CDC_Update,_August_6,_2012.pdf


181 Cases of Salmonella Across 37 States:


Systematic Gender and Racial Discrimination:


Tax Evasion:


OSHA Citation:


Palm Oil from Child and Slave Labor:


Illegal Land Grabbing in Colombia:


Child Labor, Land Grabbing and Deforestation in SE Asia:


Concealing Huge Markups:


Child Slavery Lawsuit Moves Forward:


Lagoon Breach Fish Kill:


E Coli Outbreak Across Nation:


Price Fixing for Road Salt in Ohio:


Infographic: The Hidden Cost of Rubber

Rubber is everywhere around us: in the tires on your car or bike, in your shoes, in sporting goods, and much more. But did you know the rubber in your everyday products is likely causing massive environmental devastation?

This infographic shows how rubber production is hurting our planet and communities, from deforestation to climate change and land grabs. But the good news is, there are more sustainable alternatives that companies can choose. Check out the infographic below and sign our petition urging rubber-using companies to switch to sustainable rubber.

By signing this petition, you can help us end the devastation caused by industrial rubber production and tell companies that make products containing rubber to start using sustainable rubber!

Field Dispatch: Activists Meet with Congressional Staffers on Dirty Biodiesel

This is a guest post from Mighty Earth Atlanta volunteer Colin Poe.

Following Mighty Earth’s Forests + Food ≠ Fuel event at SouthFace in May, event attendees and volunteers wanted to do more than just raise awareness on biofuels—they wanted to act!

During the event, attendees were encouraged to reach out to members of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee to oppose this legislation. Atlanta’s own Rep. John Lewis, of the 5th Congressional District, is a senior member of the committee, which has jurisdiction over the federal biodiesel tax credit. Historically, John Lewis has been reliably strong on environmental and climate issues, and we need to make sure he steps up as a champion in the movement to combat dirty biodiesel.

Heeding this call-to-action, a volunteer-led group of event attendees banded together over the next week to plan, create, and mobilize a petition delivery team. Their mission was simple yet effective: hand-deliver over 4,000 anti-biofuel petitions to Rep. John Lewis’s office in downtown Atlanta and request that he oppose the renewal of the dirty biofuel tax subsidy.

On June 14, despite demanding work schedules, dreadful Friday Atlanta afternoon traffic, and grumbling stomachs (this was their lunch break after all), members of the passionate volunteer-led anti-biofuels petition delivery team all converged on downtown Atlanta’s Five Point District to execute their mission.

Mighty Earth volunteer Colin Poe receives a tour of Rep. John Lewis' personal office after delivering over 4,000 petitions and leading the lobby meeting with one of the Congressman's senior staff members.

Upon arrival, the team was met by Lewis' Outreach Director. The team engaged with Lewis’s staff to emphasize the ongoing, negative effects biodiesel production has on the environment and the importance of not extending the dirty biodiesel tax subsidy as a means to prevent further environmental damage.

Following the delivery, Rep. Lewis’s team pledged to mail the petitions directly to his senior policy advisors in Washington, D.C.

In the week after the meeting, the Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 3301, which includes an amendment to extend the biodiesel tax credit. We were deeply disappointed with this development, but will keep fighting. We can still nix it in the full House, in the Senate, or when the two chambers’ versions are merged in the reconciliation process.

As we seek to protect forests, prairies, and other natural areas as carbon sinks and as habitat, it is critical that we refrain from endorsing policies that support reckless agricultural expansion and fail to address the climate crisis. For the past three years, Mighty Earth has championed pro-environment reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which currently mandates increasing biofuel consumption through 2022.

Cargill Announce Support for Deforestation, Defying Customers

Doubles down on plans to continue exploiting and destroying irreplaceable Brazilian ecosystems

In an open letter to soybean producers in Brazil, Cargill announced its opposition to protections for native habitat in Brazil’s Cerrado that would build on the 12-year-long success of the Amazon Soy Moratorium, which banned conversion of additional Amazon forests for soy.

In response to this announcement, Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz released the following statement:

“Cargill continues to prioritize the deforesters in its supply chain over the climate or their customers’ sustainability demands. This is a real slap in the face to companies like Ahold Delhaize and McDonald’s that have repeatedly called on Cargill to build on the extraordinary success of the Amazon Soy Moratorium in additional ecosystems in South America. If these companies are serious about their own sustainability commitments, they’ve got to go beyond polite calls and shift their purchases to more responsible suppliers.

“At a time when Brazil’s forests are being churned up and Indigenous Peoples are being displaced by its suppliers, Cargill continues to embrace business as usual – even as concerned Brazilians and its own customers demand solutions to this environmental and human rights crisis.

“Cargill CEO David MacLennan continues to disappoint. He is fond of making grand public commitments, but anyone who cares about the health of our planet – and I know that includes many people within Cargill – should be dispirited by his ongoing failure to take even basic steps to turn this commitment into reality.”


Alex Armstrong
[email protected]

Biodiesel Tax Credit Advances Despite Major Environmental and Climate Concerns

Food-based biofuels fail to address climate crisis and contribute to environmental destruction in the U.S. and around the world

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite environmental and climate concerns about the use of food-based biofuels, in particular soy biodiesel, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee voted to advance HR 3301, which provides a two year extension for the Biodiesel Tax Credit at a cost of approximately $3 billion annually.

In response, Clean Air Task Force and National Wildlife Federation have joined with Mighty Earth in calling for the tax credit to be scaled down to include only more environmentally friendly biofuels, such as waste-based or cellulosic. In its letter to legislators, the coalition voiced serious concerns about the harmful effects of food-based biodiesels, including water pollution in the Midwest and the destruction of natural prairie and forest ecosystems, which releases roughly the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as the biodiesel proponents claim that it saves. The letter also quoted a New York Times 2018 exposé that quantified biodiesel’s global impacts, noting that U.S. policy supports for biodiesel from virgin oils can be directly linked to “accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests and the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums.” 

“It is disappointing to see this shortsighted policy advance yet again,” said Mighty Earth Campaign Director Rose Garr. “Food-based biofuels are simply not a serious way to respond to the climate crisis, and the longer Congress pretends otherwise the worse shape we’ll be in. The environmental and climate concerns about food-based biofuels are well-established at this point. There is no excuse for continuing to support an environmentally damaging policy that does nothing to fight climate change and, in fact, can make the problem worse.”

The full letter is reprinted below.


June 20, 2019

Dear Representative,

As organizations concerned about climate change, conservation, and food security, we are writing to communicate our concern about the potential reauthorization of the Biodiesel Tax Credit.

Although waste-based biodiesel appears to offer environmental benefits, most of the biodiesel consumed in the United States is made from virgin vegetable oils like soy, canola and palm. By increasing overall demand for vegetable oil, increased biodiesel production puts pressure on agricultural commodity markets and spurs increased agricultural production, which in turn causes the destruction of native habitats and pollutes clean water supplies[1]. Once emissions from related land use change are fully considered, the climate impact of food-based biodiesel is likely on par with or worse than that of fossil fuels[2]. In short, conventional, food-based biodiesel is neither a ‘green’ fuel nor an effective climate change mitigation tool.

A recent New York Times and ProPublica investigation (full article enclosed) into this issue revealed the links between U.S. policy supports for biodiesel and land conversion and climate emissions around the world, especially in southeast Asia. Due to food and land displacement issues, which provided large new markets for palm oil, U.S. policy supports for biodiesel from virgin oils can be directly linked to “accelerated destruction of Borneo’s forests” and “the largest single-year global increase in carbon emissions in two millenniums, an explosion that transformed Indonesia into the world’s fourth-largest source of such emissions.”

As you consider whether and how to offer tax credit support to various technologies through the energy extenders package, we urge you to refrain from subsidizing food-based biodiesel. A better path may be to narrow the scope of the credit to support only truly advanced biodiesels made from ultra-low carbon and waste-based feedstocks, like those that are given preference by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard programs in California and Oregon. We encourage you to limit your support to the type of biofuels that have the potential to improve our environment and climate.

We hope that we will have the opportunity to further discuss this issue with you and your staff.


Rose Garr
Mighty Earth

Jonathan Lewis
Clean Air Task Force

David DeGennaro
National Wildlife Federation


[1] Searle, S. “How Rapeseed and Soy Biodiesel Drive Oil Palm Expansion.” The International Council on Clean Transportation. Briefing. July 2017; US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Biofuels and the Environment: The Second Triennial Report to Congress (2018 Final Report) (hereinafter “Second Triennial”), at 97 (

[2] Hugo Valin, et al. 2015. The Land Use Change Impact of Biofuels Consumed in the EU: Quantification of Area and Greenhouse Gas Impacts, at 39 (Fig. 15).

Meet "Chocopec" - Can a new minimum price give cocoa farmers a living income?

Mighty Earth welcomes efforts to raise incomes for cocoa smallholders, but calls for a higher bar, measures to protect farmers, and inclusion of farmers in negotiations

Last week, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana banded together and announced they would set a minimum price for cocoa in a bid to finally give cocoa farmers a living income. The two West African countries, which supply around 65 percent of the world’s cocoa, declared they would set a floor price of $2,600 per metric tonne of cocoa beans.

If implemented correctly, a minimum price could protect farmers from dire poverty and fluctuations in the cocoa market, like when the price of cocoa abruptly fell by 30 percent three years ago, leaving many farmers struggling desperately.

Mighty Earth calls on each and every cocoa trader and chocolate manufacturer to stand up and be counted at this critical juncture, and commit to paying a just price for cocoa, one that guarantees cocoa farmers a living income and a life of dignity. We also call on certification bodies like the Rainforest Alliance to put in place matching minimum pricing, and address the living income problem as explained in this position paper by the Voice network, of which Mighty Earth is a member.

Mighty Earth stands firmly for a living income, and like the ICCO we hope the minimum price will be set higher than $2,600. We decry the fact that cocoa farmers typically earn less than $1 per day as an injustice. To quote Bryan Stevenson: “the opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.”

Timing will be key. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana finally got tough with the $100 billion industry on June 11-12, declaring that they are suspending forward sales of cocoa beans for 2020-1 until their floor price of US$2,600 is met. A technical committee meeting will be held in Abidjan on July 3 to work out the modalities. The clock is now ticking for chocolate companies to make their pledges before July 3 and commit to paying a minimum price.

Currently, cocoa farmers’ income is low compared to the profit made by the chocolate industry:

Cocoa cultivation has been synonymous with extreme poverty, is widely associated with child labor, trafficking, and slavery, and has resulted in significant destruction of ancient rainforests, including illegal deforestation inside national parks. A Fairtrade study in April 2018 showed that 58 percent of Fairtrade certified cocoa farming households in Côte d’Ivoire had incomes below the extreme poverty line. Economic hardship is a major reason why roughly 2.1 million children work in cocoa, 96 percent of whom are thought to be in hazardous labor, according to a 2015 study by researchers at Tulane University. A new study published this month by researchers at University of Arkansas and Kansas State University calculated that Ghana could keep children out of cocoa by increasing the price farmers receive by about 50 percent, but that paying even just 3 percent more could potentially stop children from engaging in the most hazardous tasks, like using machetes.

Mighty Earth is not alone in wanting to see a floor price. Fairtrade also welcomed the decision by Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. “We believe in sharing the benefits of trade more equally, and welcome this move by the governments to shore up cocoa farmers’ incomes” said Jon Walker, Fairtrade International’s Senior Advisor for Cocoa. In October 2019, Fairtrade International announced its minimum price for cocoa would increase by 20 percent to $2,400 per metric tonne. The ICCO director Michel Arrion welcomed the development though he expressed surprise that the floor was too low, since a floor price of US$2,600 is not enough to achieve a living income.

Mighty Earth appreciates the World Cocoa Foundation current position that member companies are encouraged to see an increased share of the global cocoa price transferred to farmers in the government-regulated farmgate price – and Mighty calls on the WCF and its member companies to now agree to pay a fair price for cocoa.

Ultimately though, the devil is in the details. When implementation of a floor price is mapped out, farmers must be the ultimate beneficiaries – not middlemen or the authorities. Farmers need not only a floor price, but also increased public sector investment in transportation, logistics, and trade-related infrastructure, development help for farming communities, better access to education and health, and transparency in government services. Most of all, farmers must be consulted fairly, transparently, and respectfully. Mighty Earth shares the World Cocoa Farmers Organization’s concern that cocoa farmers, whose lives are at stake, were not duly involved during deliberations leading up to the Ivorian and Ghanaian decision about a floor price. Mighty Earth also calls on governmental authorities and aid agencies to ensure that the suspension of cocoa sales does not negatively impact lives of millions of cocoa farmers, pending the industry agreeing to producer country demands. No one wants farmers and their families to go hungry, or for the industry to be able to use farmers’ misery as a hostage, in negotiations around a floor price.

Going forward it will also be key to ensure that increased prices don’t incentivize further conversion of forest land for cocoa production by Ivorian and Ghanaian smallholder farmers. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have already lost over 90 percent of their forests, and in 2018 had the two most severe increases in rates deforestation worldwide. What little forests remain must be vigilantly protected for future generations.


Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) statement in response to the joint proposal by the Ghana Cocoa Board and Cote D’Ivoire’s le Conseil Du Cafe-Cacao regarding a common floor price for cocoa beans:

The Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) commends the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and its counterpart in Cote d’Ivoire, Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao (CCC) for agreeing on a floor price (minimum price) of $2,600 per tonne of cocoa beans, and further proposing to buyers/processors/chocolate manufacturers on 12 June, 2019.This is a historic feet and needs to be applauded by all, since it remains the first time the two leading cocoa producer countries have jointly decided on a floor price.

We acknowledge the various processes that yielded this results- including the initial engagements between the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire that has deepened cooperation between the two regulators, COCOBOD and CCC.

Our greatest joy in this milestone is to see direct and obvious change in the farm gate price of cocoa beans, such that farmers income and living standard will improve, therefore directly contributing to the attainment of several of the global development goals (SDGs) including, goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13. The floor price is very paramount to the livelihoods of cocoa farmers, especially in the wake of the debate on living income for cocoa farmers. We believe that this development is in the best interest of cocoa farmers and their households, since it will at least, offer the farmer a fair share of the wealth that the cocoa industry generates.

We call on the international cocoa sector to support the governments of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire to push for the implementation of the floor price. More importantly, we call on our brothers and sisters from civil society in other cocoa producing countries to stand in solidarity with us and ask their governments to support this minimum price for all cocoa farmers

The GCCP once again congratulates the COCOBOD, and we believe that the upcoming technical meeting with stakeholders to fine tune the full implementation of the floor price on the global cocoa market, slated for July 3, 2019, would prove that farmers are at the center of this initiative and must benefit as such.

We however wish to suggest to COCOBOD and CCC to include in the agenda of the upcoming floor price implementation meeting on July 3, 2019 its strategies/mechanisms to curb the possible imbalances in the cocoa sector as a result of the floor price. Attempts to regulate market forces typically end up failing, and sometimes even creating worse conditions in the long run. There is a long history of failed intervention in commodity markets, including cocoa, where price legislation resulted in excess supply/production, lowered demand, and an upsurge in stocks.

About the Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform (GCCP):

The Ghana Civil-society Cocoa Platform (GCCP) is an independent campaign and advocacy platform for civil society actors in the cocoa sector – comprising of Civil Society Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations, Community-based Organizations, Farmer-based Organizations, Farmer Associations, Media and interested individuals. The main aim of the platform is to advocate and influence cocoa sector policies and programmes. GCCP is currently being hosted by SEND Ghana, with membership across the country, especially in cocoa growing areas.


Contact Persons:

Sandra Kwabea Sarkwah (Coordinator)     Obed Owusu-Addai (Co-Coordinator)

[email protected]                          [email protected]

0245813232 or 0302716860                         0240355320


Mohammed Tajudeen

Communication Officer

[email protected]


L’un des principaux importateurs de soja en France renonce à lutter contre la déforestation importée

19 juin 2019 – Alors que Cargill, l’un des principaux importateurs de soja en France, vient de publier son nouveau plan d’action soja, force est de constater que le compte n’y est pas. Les entreprises françaises qui utilisent du soja commercialisé par Cargill dans leur chaîne d’approvisionnement devront en tirer les conséquences.

Le 25 mars dernier, Mighty Earth, France Nature Environnement et Sherpa publiaient un rapport sur le devoir de vigilance des entreprises françaises face à la déforestation causée par la culture du soja en Amérique du Sud, comme Bigard, le Groupe Bertrand/Quick, et E. Leclerc, parmi d’autres. Ce rapport relevait l’absence de prise en compte de ce risque par l’immense majorité des entreprises du secteur agro-alimentaire interpellées, alors même que le soja est utilisé massivement en France dans l’alimentation du bétail, notamment le porc et les volailles.

Les entreprises françaises peuvent-elles encore se fournir auprès de Cargill ? 

Cargill, l’un des principaux importateurs de soja en France, a publié la semaine dernière son nouveau plan d’action soja (en anglais). Pour Glenn Hurowitz, directeur de Mighty Earth  :

« Cargill bricole des solutions médiocres alors que l'Amérique du Sud est en train d’être réduite en cendres. Si l’on regarde de plus près ce plan d’action, il apparait que le seul véritable engagement pris par l’entreprise est de respecter la loi, comme si elle pouvait choisir ne pas la respecter... Tant que Cargill ne cessera pas de s’approvisionner auprès de fournisseurs impliqués dans la destruction d’écosystèmes, les autres compagnies devraient réfléchir mûrement avant de se fournir auprès de Cargill. »

Ce plan d’action est également un échec pour le PDG de Cargill, David MacLennan, qui s'était engagé à plusieurs reprises à mettre fin à la déforestation, et qui a aujourd’hui échoué à mettre en œuvre ses engagements.

Si nos organisations accueillent favorablement la volonté affichée par Cargill d’investir dans la préservation des forêts, l’expérience montre que les résultats de tels investissements, réalisés en l'absence de politiques strictes de conservation, ne sont pas à la hauteur de la crise actuelle. Ils ne sauraient remplacer de véritables mesures de prévention des atteintes à l’environnement et aux droits humains, et une mise en œuvre effective de ces mesures.

Les entreprises françaises doivent s’engager à lutter contre la déforestation importée

Au regard de la faiblesse de ce plan d’action, nos organisations appellent les entreprises françaises concernées à cesser l’approvisionnement direct ou indirect en matières premières agricoles dont l’origine ne peut être garantie libre de violations des droits humains ou abus environnementaux. Ces dernières doivent à tout prix investir dans la traçabilité sur 100% des volumes de soja utilisés dans leur chaîne d’approvisionnement et s’engager immédiatement et concrètement pour un moratoire couvrant toutes les forêts d’Amérique latine.

Pour aller plus loin :

Devoir de vigilance et déforestation – Le cas oublié du soja, mars 2019
Quand la déforestation s’invite à notre table – La catastrophe environnementale et humaine qui se cache derrière la viande et les produits laitiers français, mars 2018

Mighty Earth to Help Set Environmental, Climate Standards for Steel

Environmental organization joins ResponsibleSteel, which will set standards and certification plans for industry by 2020

LONDON – Today, Mighty Earth officially became a member of ResponsibleSteel, a global, multi-stakeholder, not-for-profit standard and certification initiative for the responsible sourcing and production of steel.

Mighty Earth joins ResponsibleSteel to help address the outsized climate impact of steel and, ultimately, the entire heavy industrial sector. Mighty Earth is the first U.S.-based organization to join the initiative.

“Mighty Earth is excited to join this unprecedented and urgent effort to reduce climate pollution from the world's leading source of industrial emissions: steel,” said Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz. “NGOs and industry must work together to cut industrial carbon emissions in half by 2030, and our hope is that ResponsibleSteel will be the vehicle for the steel industry to do its part to solve the climate crisis.”

Steel is the leading source of industrial emissions, accounting for 8 percent of all global emissions. It’s representative of the heavy industrial sector, long perceived as the most difficult to abate sector. All told, industrial sectors account for 38 percent of global energy use, a quarter of global emissions, and 30 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions. The scale of energy use means that mitigating the climate impact of industry is as important as addressing deforestation or transportation.

Mighty Earth is one of the only NGOs focused on the heavy industrial sector and steel, but progress has been made. A few weeks ago, Skanska UK committed to carbon neutrality for the full scope of its supply chain – exactly what Mighty Earth had asked for at the outset of the campaign. More recently, ArcelorMittal, the largest steel company in the world, committed to carbon neutrality in Europe and released the steel industry’s first-ever climate action plan. And just this month, the American Institute of Architects overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for “urgent and sustained climate action.”

ResponsibleSteel’s certification mechanism will cover the production of steel as well as the sourcing of raw materials. The ResponsibleSteel standard, currently under development, addresses: Business Integrity; Stakeholder Communication and Engagement; Responsible Sourcing; Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Emissions, Effluent, Waste; Water Stewardship; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; Human Rights; Local Communities; Labour Rights; Occupational Health and Safety.

Other members of the organization include steel businesses like ArcelorMittal, BlueScope Steel, voestalpine, Aperam, BMW, Daimler and HSBC, as well as civil society organizations IndustriALL, IUCN, Fauna and Flora International, CDP and the We Mean Business Coalition.

For more on Mighty Earth’s campaign to decarbonize heavy industry, please visit

Additional Resources:

New Soy Action Plan Shows Cargill is Fiddling While South America Burns

In response to Cargill’s announcement of a new Soy Action Plan, Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz released the following statement:

“Cargill is fiddling while South America burns. When you drill down, the only commitment they have made is to obey the law, which we would hope they would do anyway. Cargill’s new policy is such a nothingburger that even their largest customer, McDonald’s, wouldn’t dare serve it.

“The amount Cargill has pledged toward forest protection is but a tiny fraction of the amount they spend funding forest destruction through their purchases and financing. Until Cargill stops purchasing from suppliers engaged in destruction of native ecosystems or human rights abuses, it’s hard to see how change will happen. The Soy Action Plan released today is a total failure of leadership from Cargill CEO David MacLennan, who has repeatedly committed to end deforestation, basked in positive attention for his commitments, but then utterly failed to take actions that would actually stop deforestation.

“Many people inside Cargill are just as disappointed and frustrated as we are that Cargill continues to drive massive deforestation when there are 1.6 billion acres of degraded land where agriculture could be expanded sustainably.

“Cargill’s dithering means that their customers are selling meat linked to totally avoidable deforestation. The question now is whether Cargill customers like Ahold Delhaize and McDonald’s will take any action to shift business from Cargill or allow the company to continue to tie them and their customers to deforestation and displacement of indigenous communities.

“While we welcome Cargill's stated willingness to invest money in incentivizing forest conservation, they seem to have no idea how the money would be spent or how it would get the job done. Unfortunately, the track record of such investments in the absence of strict conservation policies is poor, and they are no substitute for a real policy and real commitment.”


Alex Armstrong

[email protected]

Rapid Response Palm Oil

Palm Oil

Mighty Earth’s Rapid Response monitoring system currently monitors more than 3500 oil palm concessions in Indonesia and Malaysia, covering about 21 million hectares, an area more than twice the size of Portugal. Trader performance on grievance handling is presented below.

Performance as of June 28, 2019; click on company logo for more details on grievances.

Links to traders’ grievance logs and information here.


Soy and Cattle: Report 1

Rapid Response Monitoring System

Soy and Cattle, Report 1 | June 2019 

Based on March 2019 alert

Prepared with

VIew as PDF

Largest Steelmaker in the World Sets Carbon Neutrality Goal for Europe

Mighty Earth encouraged by steel industry’s first-ever climate action plan

The largest steelmaker in the world, ArcelorMittal, which is responsible for approximately 0.7 percent of all global carbon emissions, has set a goal of achieving carbon-neutral operations in Europe by 2050.

Given the scope of ArcelorMittal’s operations in Europe, where it is headquartered and maintains a significant operational footprint, this commitment is the most significant in the steel industry to date. This goal, which was first revealed in the company's recently issued Climate Action Report 1, also puts the company closer in line with its European competitors like ThyssenKrupp and SSAB, which have set their own carbon-neutral and fossil-free commitments, respectively.

In 2018, Mighty Earth launched a campaign asking the steel industry to commit to carbon neutrality. This commitment from the world's largest and most influential steelmaker is a sign of progress. However, ArcelorMittal has large and growing operations around the world but has not yet made a carbon neutral commitment for their global operations.

Mighty Earth Campaign Director Margaret Hansbrough offered her analysis after reviewing the plan:

"This commitment by ArcelorMittal demonstrates some meaningful leadership in the industry and is a big step. We particularly appreciate how vocal the company's CEO, Lakshmi Mittal, has been in the release of this climate action plan and on the need for heavy industrial companies like his to play a role in solving our climate crisis. We need every steel industry executive in the world to follow his lead and engage in a meaningful and constructive way.

“However, we have serious questions and concerns about the role of charcoal or ‘circular carbon’ as the report refers to, as a key element in achieving carbon neutrality in Europe.

“The report refers to ‘forestry residues’ to create charcoal for steelmaking. But we know from experience that very little bioenergy is truly sustainable. Over-reliance on wood as a source of energy can create large new pressures on forests, incentivizing deforestation. ArcelorMittal needs to ensure that any charcoal they are currently using or will use in the future is not driving deforestation anywhere in the world. We need to be reforesting our planet as fast as possible to remove carbon. Without extreme vigilance, the use of charcoal could lead to increased deforestation and worsen our climate catastrophe.

“We also have significant concerns about pollution from charcoal. We are taking a close look at this plan and will continue to engage with the company and the industry to push for the most aggressive and achievable emissions reductions possible to stay within a 1.5-degree scenario. In order to do that, global industrial emissions must be cut in half by 2030. We need to see 2025 and 2030 emission reduction goals from ArcelorMittal and other top global producers as soon as possible. Additional commitments for 100 percent clean electricity sourcing and offsetting current steel emissions through forest conservation and restoration are needed to move the industry in the right direction.

“And while a carbon neutral commitment for Europe is a big step in the right direction, no company or country can rely on any strategy that outsources emissions to another part of the planet. If emissions go down in Europe but grow in India, then no progress has been made. All emissions are global.

“Overall, we are supportive of much of the content in the company's climate report, including its investments in hydrogen technology, support for abundant clean energy sources and infrastructure, access to low-emissions finance tools, and border trade adjustments. And we are in full agreement that there need to be ways of leveling the global carbon playing field to ensure we are not outsourcing emissions.

“Mighty Earth is encouraged by these recent developments, but we remain watchful. We are optimistic about plans for a global certification body, ResponsibleSteel, and plan to engage with the group and all the stakeholders involved. ArcelorMittal's leadership with this group shows they are a leader in the industry, and we look forward to working with them to pave the way for a 100 percent carbon-neutral steel industry."

Meat Company Pollution to Blame for New, Near-Record “Dead Zone” Forecast

On the heels of the official NOAA forecast that predicts a near-record size “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, environmental campaign organization Mighty Earth is laying the blame at the feet of America’s biggest meat companies.

“In 2018, JBS was responsible for generating 80 million tons of raw sewage – and that’s just what we know about. Dumping that much manure and slaughterhouse waste into our waters is clearly a major threat to our health and downstream prosperity, but the new forecast shows just how disastrous and out of hand the industry’s pollution has become,” said Mighty Earth Campaign Director Lucia von Reusner. “The environmental catastrophe is rivalled only by the economic damage this will do to the Gulf economies later this year.”

A recent Mighty Earth analysis showed that America’s largest meat companies have built slaughterhouses and processing facilities in flood-prone areas throughout the Mississippi River Basin while failing to develop and implement practices to protect water quality. As a result, 145 million tons of untreated animal waste and other pollutants washed freely off industrial farms into the Mississippi River watershed in 2018, endangering local water quality and ultimately contributing to the toxic algal blooms fueling the annual Gulf dead zone.

Agricultural giant JBS, responsible for 80 million tons of pollution in 2018, was the top polluter identified in the analysis, while Cargill and Tyson were the most vulnerable to flooding. Polluted runoff from fields producing the vast quantities of animal feed used by these companies is another major source of water contamination causing the dead zone.

“Given the climate-fueled extreme flooding washing more and more pollution downstream, it would not be surprising if this is ultimately the largest-ever dead zone,” von Reusner said.

NOAA’s official forecast predicts a hypoxic zone of 7,829 square miles. However, researchers at Louisiana State University who contributed to NOAA’s model predict – with a 95 percent confidence interval – an area between 7,889 and 9,583 square miles. The largest ever recorded to date was in 2017, with a dead zone of 8,776 square miles.

“JBS and the other meat companies have gotten away with their reckless practices for so long because the chain of cause and effect is as long as the Mississippi River,” said von Reusner. “But the connection between uncontrolled runoff from industrial farms and the dead zone is clear – and the results are disastrous. It’s time for industrial meat companies to be held accountable for the unacceptable levels of pollution flushed downstream year after year: they must immediately move to implement protections for America’s water.”

Palm Oil: Report 16

Rapid Response Monitoring System

Palm Oil, Report 16 | June 2019 

Prepared with support from MapHubs

VIew as PDF

Indonesian companies:

Bakrie Group: PT MenthobiMitra Lestari

Malaysian companies:

SamlingGroup: SamlingJelalongLPF 0007 (Part 2)

Additional Cases Identified Using Filtered GLAD Alerts: Best Group: PT WanasawitSuburLestari, Unknown Group: PT GapuraAlas Lestari, Leowfamily: PT GunungAgung Perkasa, Unknown Group: PT LaotBangko

Sources for supply chain information:

Supply chain information included in Rapid Response reports is based on latest publicly versions of mill disclosures and grievance logs. Mighty Earth encourages companies to send updated versions of mill disclosures as soon as they become available and any decision to suspend supplies with a given group/company listed in those mill disclosures; please send to [email protected].