In late March, 17 passionate activists from around the US met in Point Reyes, CA with RAN staff for the Palm Oil Action Leaders Summit, 4 days of intensive training on organizing and creative direct action planning. These inspiring folks now make up the powerful Palm Oil Action Leaders Team and have committed to taking the skills that they gained at the summit back to their hometowns. They are taking matters into their own hands by organizing and educating their community members to pressure the snack food companies using Conflict Palm Oil.
The Palm Oil Action Leaders are a diverse crew of folks, unified by their passion for stopping the destruction caused by Conflict Palm Oil. Some are seasoned activists, and others first time organizers, they range in age from 70 to 12 years old, and are based all across the country, from Boston, to the Twin Cities, and LA.
The coming together of these Leaders is the next step in a global movement of activists taking a stand against the forced labor, deforestation, climate pollution and endangerment of wildlife that are rife in the production of Conflict Palm Oil. In their first action as a team, the Palm Oil Action Leaders joined the Palm Oil Activists around the country who are currently “re-branding” Quaker display shelves at local grocery stores to demand that Quaker (and its parent company, PepsiCo) adopt a responsible palm oil policy and cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain.
The actions and events that they planned were as diverse and interesting as the Leaders themselves:
In Chicago, Jessica and Jacob staged a guerilla theater performance in which “Larry” (yes, that’s the name of the smiley gentleman on the Quaker logo) was subject to a citizen's arrest for his role in driving deforestation and endangering Sumatran Tigers.
Becky in Buena Park, CA got 44 high school students together to learn about the problems with Conflict Palm Oil production and to take action collectively by calling PepsiCo, writing letters and taking photo petitions to send to the company’s headquarters in New York.
In Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Palm Oil Action Leaders Cailie and Sydney organized a student led workshop, educating and informing volunteers on the devastating impacts of Conflict Palm Oil. They followed the workshop with a "palm oil brigade" march to a local grocery store to inform consumers and re-brand Quaker product displays. 40 student activists attended.
In Los Angeles, Shannen and Danny collected and tweeted out photo petitions from LA locals (like Spiderman!) on Hollywood Boulevard in front of a PepsiCo billboard.
Other Leaders in Minnesota, Michigan, Arcata and San Francisco, California, Boston, Washington and Arizona took their passion and creativity to the streets of their hometowns or college campuses to expose the use of Conflict Palm Oil in snack foods. The Leaders collected and produced some fantastic photo-petitions, profiling the risks of Quaker products containing Conflict Palm Oil. By tagging Quaker, PepsiCo, and using the hashtag #ChangeQuaker, when posting images on online these actions have got the attention of PepsiCo executives and sent a clear signal that thousands of people are demanding change.
These actions are having an impact - and momentum is building. To get in on the action and pressure Quaker to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its supply chain, sign up here for our simple Quaker display re-branding kit. We'll get it in the mail ASAP so that you can join the wave of actions sweeping across the country!
The Palm Oil Action Team is a growing movement of activists around the world who are successfully pressuring Snack Food 20 companies. Take your passion for this issue to the next level and join the Palm Oil Action Team now!