Four members of the Rainforest Action Network hung a 50 foot banner on the Chicago Board of Trade building Wednesday that proclaimed, "ADM, Bunge and Cargill: The ABC's of Rainforest Destruction."
RAN accuses the companies of destroying tropical rainforests and trampling human rights in South America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
"Rainforests are our last and best defense against catastrophic climate change," said Leila Salazar-Lopez, director of RAN's new Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign. "ADM, Bunge and Cargill have a responsibility to stop converting the world's remaining rainforests into factory farms and to immediately address the grave human rights abuses associated with their operations."
In response, Cargill issued a statement that said, "We take our environmental footprint in the rainforest geographies very seriously. Cargill is committed to responsible economic development around the world. We want to create economic opportunities for people, while at the same time providing a platform for strong environmental protection."
Discussions between RAN and agribusinesses have been ongoing over the past several weeks and according to Cargill, the action Wednesday was not a huge surprise. They hope it will lead to greater dialogue.
Cargill's statement concluded, "We are, as always, open to listening and learning. To that end we are working with RAN to schedule a face-to-face meeting later this month to hear their specific concerns and, we hope, move the conversation onto substantive ground."