The Forest Heroes campaign has already made it onto the front page of Kellogg’s hometown paper! Monday morning, the Battle Creek Enquirer ran an article about Forest Heroes — again, on the front page with a full color photo! — that is loaded with quotes from star organizer Margaret Kran-Annexstein. The article, online under the headline “Group works to build local pressure on Kellogg for Wilmar ties” and in print under the headline “Forest Heroes works to pressure Kellogg” does a great job of hammering home the point that Kellogg’s partnership with Wilmar is undermining the company’s own values by driving deforestation and habitat loss and accelerating climate change.
Margaret Kran-Annexstein says she came to Battle Creek on a mission to save Tony the Tiger and wants Kellogg Co. to help.
“(Kellogg is) pretty socially responsible,” said the 23-year-old field organizer with Forest Heroes, an environmental grassroots organization that has deployed members across the state to gather support. “We believe they do want to do the right thing and they want to be a sustainable company and a responsible company. And because they have such clout here in Michigan, we think they would be a great person to convince Wilmar to do the right thing.”
The timing of the article couldn’t be better, for this evening, Tuesday the 17th, Battle Creek Forest Heroes will be gathering to collect signatures and plan for the campaign ahead. The kickoff meeting will be held at 7pm at the First Congregational Church at 145 Capital Ave, NE. You can RSVP on Facebook here.
One point that Margaret emphasized in the article was that this campaign isn’t asking for anything unreasonable, but rather calling on Kellogg’s to demand that its business partner, Wilmar International, make the same commitment to deforestation-free palm oil that other massive food companies like Nestlé have already made.
Similar efforts have helped contribute to Nestlé ending its sourcing of palm oil from rainforests. In 2010, the company partnered with Forest Trust in 2010 and has now outlined specific guidelines for its suppliers, according to its website. More than 65,000 signatures were collected to encourage Nestlé to change its practices, Kran-Annexstein said, and it’s now “deforestation-free.”
She said Forest Heroes hopes to change Kellogg’s way of business using the same methods.
In a great video that accompanies the Enquirer article, Margaret drives home the precedent of Nestle’s success, proving that a big food company can indeed do a better job sourcing palm oil. You can watch that video here.
Though you really should just click through and read the whole article, we can’t resist quoting one more bit, this one about why folks from Michigan should care, and why their voices are so important:
Kran-Annexstein said she’s sure the people of Michigan can make a difference just by joining together to petition for the cause and pushing Kellogg to take corporate responsibility. Forest Heroes also has organizers in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and East Lansing.
“It’s definitely a matter of building enough public support,” she said. “We think we can do it but it’s definitely going to be a huge number of people that we need to get on board to make this really happen. It would involve them changing their supply chain and we definitely think it’s important enough and that they can do it. And there are definitely alternatives and it’s just a matter of letting them know that the people of Michigan really support it.”
Okay, you really should check out the whole article, and it would be really helpful if you could add a comment in support of the Forest Heroes campaign if you can.
Finally and once again, if you’re in the Battle Creek area, Margaret will be joined by the rest of the local Forest Heroes organizing team, and some allies from the Rainforest Action Network, at 7pm tonight, Tuesday the 17th, at the First Congregational Church. You can RSVP on Facebook here. Come on by and join the ranks of Forest Heroes!