Nike improves Amazon deforestation policy, Timberland must act (video)

The announcement from Nike is the latest in a string of welcome news for the Amazon and the climate since June 1st, when the “Slaughtering the Amazon” report was released. The next day, the Public Prosecution Office in Brazil’s Para State announced that it was opening a billion-dollar lawsuit against several farms and various companies operating there, including one slaughterhouse owned by Brazil’s cattle giant Bertin.

On June 12th came news that several major grocery store chains in Brazil, including Wal-Mart and Carrefour, had banned beef purchased from the farms accused by the Para state prosecutor’s offfice of being involved in illegal deforestation. The very next day, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, announced that it was withdrawing a $90 million dollar loan to Bertin.

Then, on June 22nd, the world’s fourth largest beef trader, Marfrig, announced a moratorium that would prevent the company from buying cattle raised in newly deforested areas within the Amazon. The move by Marfrig came after the “Slaughtering the Amazon” report had thrust an international spotlight on Marfrig, Bertin, JBS and other leading cattle companies for driving Amazon deforestation and climate change.

[image-1]Now that Nike has taken the first step in doing the right thing, when it comes to deforestation in the Amazon, it’s time for others to act.  Pick up your phone and make a call to Timberland today to tell them to put their foot down to fully protect the Amazon and our climate!

•    Forest destruction accounts for almost 1/5 of global emissions—more than all cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined.

•    The cattle industry--which supplies leather for shoes--is responsible for most of the deforestation in the Amazon.

•    The demand for leather means more Amazon rainforest is cleared to graze cattle which can end up in brands Timberland.

•    Bertin is one of the biggest and most corrupt of these cattle companies, and its leverage in the Brazilian government means it can influence whether Brazil supports deforestation or protects the climate.

•    Timberland is a client of Bertin and has the power to cancel the contact with Bertin if they fail to support a moratorium on new cattle expansion into the Amazon.

Please call Timberland right now and ask them to put their foot down to Bertin’s dirty policies.

Phone number for Timberland customer service:

1-800-445-5545    Press #5 when the automated message starts.    (Mon-Thurs 8-5:30 ET, Fri 8-5 EST)

If you need help crafting your message for the call, try this on for size:

Hi, my name is ___ and I’m calling from _____. I am very happy to hear that you have taken the first steps towards eliminating Amazon destruction from your supply chain but I am concerned that your leather supplier Bertin is still supporting cattle expansion into the Amazon. I am counting on you to put pressure on Bertin to stop the deforestation of the Amazon for cattle.  Because the leather you purchase might end up in my shoes, this is really important to me. Timberland, please, put your foot down and cancel contracts with dirty companies. Thanks for taking my call.

When you’ve done that, you can also send an email to Timberland asking them to put their foot down and tell Bertin to stop supporting Amazon deforestation and global warming. The more concerned consumers Timberland hears from, the more they’ll have to realize that contributing to Amazon destruction and global warming is bad business.

Once you’ve made your call or email today, send an email and let me know how it went. [email protected]

Following the release of Greenpeace’s report, “Slaughtering the Amazon” and pressure from activists, sneaker-giant Nike agreed to revise its policies to ensure that they stop buying leather from deforested areas in Brazil. Now, it's time for Timberland to act to stop destructive practices in the Amazon.

"Nike has set a great precedent for Timberland, Adidas, Reebok, and Clarks to follow,” says Greenpeace forests campaigner Lindsey Allen. “Brazil’s cattle industry, which supplies leather for shoes, accounts for about 80% of all deforested areas in the Amazon. In fact, the Brazilian cattle industry is the largest single source of deforestation anywhere in the world. And deforestation in turn causes one-fifth of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the world, more than all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships combined. Nike has taken the necessary steps to make sure they aren’t contributing to the problem. Timberland, Adidas, Reebok, and Clarks need to adopt policies to protect the Amazon and the climate, as well."  Read Nike's press release.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]