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Girl Scouts Plan To Save Orangutans

Posted Feb 27 2014 – 12:01am
Tagged With: girl scouts, news, orangutans

Kellog, the company that produces Girl Scout cookies, recently announced that it will only use deforestation-free palm oil. The credit for this movement goes to the campaign of two teenage Girl Scouts who challenged the organization’s use of unsustainably-sourced palm oil, which was used in Girl Scout Cookies. Under the commitment, Kellogg’s suppliers will have to meet specific sourcing criteria by the end of 2015.


Palm oil, which is an ingredient in multiple prepackaged food items like cookies and crackers and several cosmetic items, is one of the largest drivers of deforestation in Southeast Asia  and essential to the habitat for critically endangered species, especially Sumatran orangutans and tigers.

The announcement comes after Girl Scouts, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, began a movement to force Kellogg to find more sustainable sources, creating a petition, letter-writing drive and contacted Girl Scouts across the nation to speak out, too. By highlighting deforestation and threats to endangered species like orangutans from oil palm plantations, Tomtishen and Vorva started a movement that eventually forced Girl Scouts USA to commit to sourcing palm oil from less damaging sources. (Click On PIC)

But how did this campaign begin? At only 15 and 16, the girls began project ORANG (Orangutans Really Appreciate and Need Girls Scouts) in 2007 to earn their award. Since their project towards changing the palm oil used in Girl Scout cookies, they have partnered with Rainforest Action Network, co-authoring a petition that has generated more than 70,000 emails to the Girl Scouts headquarters. With girls like this coming up in the world, we can trust the earth is in good hands. http://www.hercampus.com/school/wvwc/girl-scouts-plan-save-orangutans

Cliff’SOR wishes to congratulate the girl scouts especially Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva for their sterling help with saving the rain forest and the orangutans that live there.

UPDATE:

Despite campaign, Girl Scout cookies still aren’t deforestation free, say scout activists


“The ‘Green Palm’ logo currently printed on boxes of Girl Scout cookies is in reference to a scheme through the RSPO called Green Palm Certificates which represents a small step in the right direction of acknowledging the serious consequences caused by Conflict Palm Oil production, but ultimately is a form of greenwash that does not mean the palm oil included in Girl Scout cookies did not contribute to deforestation, human rights abuses, orangutan extinction and climate pollution,” Laurel Sutherlin of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) told Mongabay.com. http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0425-girl-scout-cookies-not-deforestation-free.html


If Girl Scouts USA and ABC Bakers decided to commit to zero deforestation palm oil, it would effectively mean either buying from one of the palm oil companies that has established a zero deforestation policy, like Indonesia’s Golden-Agri Resources, or waiting until segregated “certified sustainable palm oil” (CSPO) hits the market sometime in the next couple of years. In the meantime, Vorva and Tomtishen say they will continue their campaign, despite being recently sidelined by Girl Scouts USA.

“In September 2013, we received an email from the Vice President of Communications at Girl Scouts USA who informed us that the organization believed it was an appropriate time to end our working relationship and that after investing hundreds of hours of staff time in this issue, they needed to move on to new initiatives. Since then, our attempts to get in touch have been ignored,” the girls said. “Our plan is to continue speaking out about this issue until all Girl Scout cookies contain palm oil that is rainforest-safe.”
http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/abc_bakers_girl_scout_cookies_still_contain_unsustainable_palm_oil/

“We’d urge everyone to join us by sending a letter to the Girl Scout USA asking them to ensure that both of the bakers follow the same deforestation-free guidelines to ensure that Girl Scout cookies don’t contribute to human rights abuses and deforestation.

Anna Maria Chávez

Girl Scouts national CEO Speaks at Louisiana East headquarters in Jefferson on girl scout cookies which are being boycotted each year for allegedly being tied in to concerns to pro life and abortion as well as to being made with palm oil the same oil that is the root cause for the destruction of the rain forest. http://blog.nola.com/eastjefferson/2013/07/girl_scouts_national_ceo_anna.html

Orangutan Rescue