Lead Group: Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Support Groups: Girl Scouts Madison and Rhiannon, Greenpeace, Green Century Funds, Union of Concerned Scientists, Forest Heroes and the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, 2014 – Continue Reading →
Lead Groups: Green America, Global Exchange, International Labor Rights Forum
Support Groups: U. Roberto Romano’s groundbreaking film, The Dark Side of Chocolate, was instrumental in raising awareness of the issue of child labor in cocoa. Dozens of student groups and religious groups participated in the campaign. Whole Foods and dozens of food co-ops took action by dropping Hershey products from their stores.
We targeted Hershey, the largest chocolate company in the United States, for its failure to address child labor in its supply chain. We used consumer, investor, retail, and media pressure to get Hershey to adopt certification for its cocoa, which would prohibit child labor. Child labor is an enormous problem in the cocoa industry, with many children forced to labor on farms for no pay. 1.8 million children are estimated to work in the cocoa industry in West Africa. Despite having $7 billion in revenues per year, Hershey was failing to take action. In October 2012, Hershey first announced that it would phase in certifications that prohibit child labor over the next decade. Continued pressure resulted in a 2013 commitment to a timeline. The long term impacts of this campaign are significant: 1. The top two chocolate companies in the United States (Mars and Hershey) have now agreed to certify their cocoa child labor free by 2021. 2. Thousands of children in West Africa will benefit by no longer being forced to labor on cocoa farms. 3. Laggards in the cocoa industry (such as Godiva) are now under pressure to certify their cocoa as well (Green America has a campaign targeting Godiva). 4. Millions of American consumers are now aware of the problem of child labor in the cocoa industry and expect chocolate companies to take action to address it. 5. The campaign increased consumer awareness of fair trade chocolate and boosted the market for these chocolates.
Name of campaign: Protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine
Lead Group(s): Earthworks and Nunamta Aulukestai
Support Group(s): AIFMA and NRDC
The Pebble campaign sought to convince Anglo American and Rio Tinto, the two major mining companies involved in the proposed Pebble Mine, to withdraw from the project. We targeted investors, shareholders and senior executives of the company with one simple message: the Pebble Mine is simply too risky. The Pebble Mine, a massive copper/gold mine proposed at the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay, would cause irreversible harm to the world’s largest wild salmon fishery and the communities that rely on it. Our campaign sought to stop Pebble by convincing the two major mining companies to pull out. Anglo American and Rio Tinto withdrew from the proposed Pebble Project in September 2013 and April 2014, respectively – leaving the project without financial resources for development. With the departure of Rio Tinto and Anglo American, Pebble no longer has the financial resources to develop the mine, providing additional opportunity for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put in place more lasting protection. In July 2014, the EPA released its plan for protecting the salmon fishery by using its authority under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to place restrictions on mine waste disposal in the Bristol Bay watershed. A final decision, which is expected in early 2015, will stop the proposed Pebble Mine and protect the largest wild salmon fishery on Earth and the Alaska Native communities who rely on it.
Check out their campaign website: www.ourbristolbay.com