The Cereal Bowl: Citizens from Throughout Michigan Come to Kelloggs to Demand Palm Oil Action

Families, consumers and community leaders from across Michigan today gathered in Kellogg’s back yard to tell the company: it’s time to be a Forest Hero.

After months of citizen outreach and advocacy throughout Michigan, people from across the state joined together to deliver your name, along with thousands of others, asking Kellogg’s to stop using palm oil from devastated rain forests, and to stop partnering with companies that destroy Sumatran Tiger habitat. 

At the event, Forest Heroes poured over 5,000 petitions and letters from Michiganders collected over the past couple months out of an oversize cereal box into a giant bowl, delivered to Kellogg’s at its Battle Creek headquarters.

The group also delivered a sign-on letter from over 100 leading community organizations, businesses, university groups, and faith groups across the state. Advocates dressed as Tony the Tiger and other Kellogg’s icons joined with other Michiganders holding signs urging Kellogg’s to take action.

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There are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and they are being pushed to extinction by Kellogg’s corporate partners. Today, more than 80 Michiganders turned out — with signs and posters and banners and a massive six foot tall cereal box — to loudly tell the company that it’s time to be a Forest Hero and stop driving deforestation for palm oil.

Read more about the event (and see an awesome animated GIF of the petition “pour”!) after the jump.

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After the petition delivery, a small group of organizers and community leaders met with Kellogg’s Vice President of Sustainability and Vice President of Communications.  Kelloggs thanked the group cordially and stated that they felt they were allies and shared the goals of Forest Heroes organizers and volunteers.  They recognized that their current commitments of using “green palm certificates” from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil were insufficient and said they are working for improved solution but were non-comital and vague as to a specific course of action.

“Please sign this action to help save the last 400 remaining Sumatran tigers. Tell Kellogg’s that rainforest destruction does not belong on America’s breakfast table.”

If you’re on Twitter, take a moment to tweet this message:

I stand with @ForestHeroes. Time for @Kelloggs_US to be a leader & stop rainforest destruction for #palmoil now! http://tinyurl.com/oyweayz

In addition to the rally, there was a press conference with these speakers:

  • Rachel Hood, Executive Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Sarah Low, concerned mother and teacher from Battle Creek
  • Cristina Ley, University of Michigan student that lived in Indonesia and witnessed palm oil deforestation
  • Margaret Kran-Annexstein, Battle Creek Organizer, Forest Heroes Campaign

And because these days it’s like “GIF or it didn’t happen,” here’s a really fun animation:

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To see video of the Cereal Bowl rally in action, click here for Part I and here for Part II.  (Apologies for the gap in the middle of the two videos.  If anyone has a complete video of the press conference, please let us know in the comments section and we’ll upload it here.)”

There’s already been a boatload (or bowl full) of media coverage, from local TV stations like CW7 West Michigan to local papers like the Battle Creek Enquirer to national outlets like the Associated Press, which has been picked up everywhere from TIME to the Washington Post to literally dozens of other newspapers and websites all over the country. A follow up Associated Press story goes into even more detail. It’s safe to say that this story has spread far and wide from the doorstep of Kelloggs in Battle Creek, Michigan.

On November 20, 2013
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