Tacoma, Washington – Mighty Earth volunteers in Tacoma participated in a National Day of Action on July 29th to ask wholesale grocery supplier Costco to cut their contracts with meat supplier Cargill. Activists across the country descended upon their local Costco warehouse to deliver Mighty Earth’s report, “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World,” and point out the discrepancy between Cargill’s practices and Costco’s “Environmental Impacts & Land Stewardship Plan.”
Community members also attended a virtual press conference detailing the environmental and social impacts of industrial meat production.
“I delivered the Cargill report to my local Costco in Tacoma today to show Costco the destructiveness of their supplier and the power they have to transform the industry by cutting their contracts with Cargill,” said Zach Drennan, a volunteer with Might Earth. “Cargill’s practices directly contradict those listed in Costco’s Environmental Impacts & Land Stewardship Plan,” which I’m asking Costco to uphold by ending their ties with Cargill.”
This event occurred as the annual fires in the Amazon Rainforest have recently reignited. The meat industry is one of the leading causes of the Amazon fires, with Cargill at the top of that industry.
“Forest destruction in the Amazon has increased by nearly 50 percent since 2019, led in large part by the meat industry. Indigenous communities are being displaced, ecosystems are being destroyed, and a dangerous amount of carbon is being released into the atmosphere,” said Hayley Berliner, field organizer with Mighty Earth. The Amazon Rainforest serves as a crucial carbon sink in the fight against climate change, and its destruction leads us ever closer to irreversible climate catastrophe.
At the press conference, Claudia Lifton, the Denver Director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, spoke about the alternatives to factory farming, which are more socially and environmentally responsible. Aseem Prakash, professor of Political Science at the University of Washington discussed Costco’s corporate responsibility in this matter. Lastly, Steven Starr of Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles spoke about deforestation of the Amazon for meat production.
“Cargill’s impact on the Amazon is catastrophic; Costco members wouldn’t go near Kirkland products if they knew how devastating the brand is to the lungs of our planet,” said Steven Starr.
Mighty Earth is urging Costco, among other grocers, to cut their contracts with Cargill until the company changes its practices of deforestation and water pollution. Costco has the power to transform the broader industry and spur radical changes throughout the entire sector, by promoting alternative meat options at their warehouses across the country.