Pepsi, Coke Pledge to Respect Land, Fisheries, Forest Rights These food giants use a lot of palm kernel oil in their snack foods, the production of which has led to all kinds of bad behavior, including deforestation of great swaths of land, as native farmers clear the forests to grow a crop that will bring them a small amount of income. For instance, PepsiCo consumes more than 450,000 metric tons of palm oil annually for its snack food brands in the United States, Mexico, Latin America, Asia and Europe, and its consumption is on the rise. PepsiCo has been singled out by a coalition that includes the Years of Living Dangerously project, Rainforest Action Network, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the global consumer watchdog group SumOfUs.org for its continued use of large quantities of “conflict palm oil.” Read more about this and other stories.
ALSO, an op-ed by Steve Siebert and Jill Belsky, of the University of Montana, which was printed in The Missoulian: Forestry: Study U.S., Swiss differences: Switzerland and Montana are similar in many ways: both are world-renowned for their beautiful mountains, derive significant economic benefits from nature-based tourism, and are concerned about conservation. In addition, the land available for timber harvesting is 71 percent publically owned in Switzerland and 70 percent in Montana. However, the area available for timber harvesting (i.e., excluding parks, wilderness areas, etc.) totals only 3.2 million acres in Switzerland compared to 19.9 million acres in Montana, and Switzerland’s population is 10 times greater. Nevertheless, Switzerland has hundreds of timber and forest products businesses employing over 92,000 people and forest cover is increasing. In contrast, there are only 125 timber and wood products businesses in Montana, employment totals 7,000 and remaining businesses face timber shortages despite abundant resources and growing hazardous fuel concerns. (See more at website)