The following letter was sent to Cargill in February of this year. It should be a template used often and widely by agriculturalists and consumers interested in having real options (i.e., variety in underlying production methods and the ensuing price differentials) in their food purchases.
Attn: Gregory R. Page and Board Members
PO Box 9300
27 February 2012
Dear Mr. Page and Cargill Board:
I love Cargill! You guys are doing a great job of producing in a safe, efficient way. Consumers want your products and farmers appreciate you being in the market.
I’m writing to encourage you to not attempt to pacify the activist “dark green” groups who are opposed to productive agriculture, modern technological advances, and the use of animals. Attempting to appease these extremists will lead only to more paperwork and decreased productivity, resulting in higher costs.
Despite your participation in things like WWF’s Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Production or your conveyance of property for environmental renaissance in the San Francisco Bay area, I read this morning about Rainforest Action Network’s call to “Occupy our Food Supply” in which Cargill is specifically targeted.
This tactic is common among Greenpeace- and HSUS-type organisations. They ask all of their “viral community” to contact the CEO and/or board of a large business. While that CEO hears, then, from seemingly many “consumers,” they do not hear from the millions of consumers who are truly happy to have the inexpensive, high-quality food that Cargill helps to provide. They do not hear from the many ag producers who are thrilled that Cargill is one of their customers.
The extremists who are opposed to large corporations will never be satisfied. Nothing you do to appease them will work.
Farmers and ranchers have steadily improved environmental and animal welfare standards over time. This is because profitability and care for the environment and animals are directly – not inversely – related.
TempleGrandin became successful because feedyards and packing plants voluntarily hired her to help with animal behaviour and design of handling facilities. They hired her because efficiency gained when implementing her ideas more than offset the cost of hiring her. In other words, profitability improved when animal welfare improved.
Please concentrate on purchasing the best quality produce at the best price. Trust producers to continue to maximise care for their land, animals, and resources. Trust consumers to judge you based on your products and not your propaganda. Trust that the “green” extortionists cannot be trusted.
Do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss or if I can help you in any way. Thank you for your existence and your commitment to excellence.