As a fifth generation sustainable farmer, I've seen firsthand how devastating climate change has already been to the American way of farming. That's why I was so shocked to learn that two giant American food corporations, Kellogg and General Mills, use horribly unsustainable business practices that damage the environment and cause climate change.
Short-sighted policies by General Mills and Kellogg are harming the planet and accelerating climate change. With another dangerous summer upon us, I urgently need you to join me in asking these companies to commit to more responsible environmental policies.
Both General Mills and Kellogg claim they are trying to reduce their emissions which harm the planet and affect our air quality, but refuse to say what their current impact is and how they plan to reduce their impact. They do business with companies which burn down forests to clear land and overuse polluting fertilizers, too.
Globally, agricultural production of raw materials is the largest source of global warming emissions. Investigations in Asia and Africa show that General Mills and Kellogg purchase palm oil through suppliers that clear and burn forests. And while General Mills and Kellogg have recently adopted zero deforestation palm oil policies, these do not extend to commodities like soy and sugar. Other companies have policies that address these problems, too, so I know it’s something big food companies can do.
We need to act now, so I’m supporting a group called Oxfam to urge General Mills and Kellogg to take the three following steps:
· Disclose emissions from your supply chains that contribute to climate change making people hungry.
· Commit to clear, science-based targets and actions that reduce emissions from your operations and supply chains.
· Use your power and influence to call on governments and businesses to do what’s needed to fight climate change.
I remember the regular rainfall which nourished our corn fields when I was young. It was just about every Saturday night. But a few years ago in 2011, the river flooded from unusual rain and snow, and my fields were underwater for months.
All told, the flooding in the Missouri and Souris river basins that year caused more than $2 billion in damages and my state had three declarations of major disasters. The devastation contributed to record high prices of grains for consumers like you.
Because of these companies’ inaction, things continue to get worse on my farm and many like it across the Midwest. The once regular rains have given way to long periods of dryness followed by drenches of four to five inches at a time that damage our corn and soybeans in the standing water left behind. Sudden powerful bursts of wind up to 90 miles an hour slam into our farm several times a summer now, knocking over irrigation systems and ripping our buildings.
Despite this, neither General Mills nor Kellogg publicly report on agricultural emissions through the industry-standard Carbon Disclosure Project. This is something that the vast majority of food and beverage companies are already doing, so I wonder if they are trying to hide something from consumers.
Now we have a huge opportunity for these companies to ensure a sustainable source of revenue for the future. Anything that is ultimately good for the earth is good for people. Please sign to support farmers like me!