Climate activists Trick or Treat Cargill

Protest at Cargill CEO home


Southside Pride (MN) 

November 4, 2019


On Halloween climate activists from Northfield, active in the protests against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, staged a mock funeral for the earth at the home of David MacLennan, the chief executive officer of Cargill, the multinational agriculture commodities trader based in Wayzata. They stressed the role of Cargill in the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Across huge expanses of the Brazilian Amazon and the adjacent Cerrado savannah, fires continue to rage.


“I’m here to fight for the planet and indigenous rights,” said Michelle Wenderlich. “Cargill is a commodities trader, and they trade in embargoed Brazilian soy and beef which comes from illegally deforested areas that directly threaten the existence, rights, and land of indigenous people.”


Brazil’s economy has long relied on agriculture commodity exports. It is one of the world’s biggest producers of soy and beef. Cargill is one of the major commodities traders that trades with Brazilian agroindustry actors and works with financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Chase and BlackRock that provide foreign capital. In the pursuit of profits, Cargill facilitates the destruction of the Amazon for soy and beef production.


Cargill has previously “pledged to eliminate deforestation” and committed to cleaning up its supply chains.

In July 2019, the advocacy group Mighty Earth reported that Cargill’s trading remains “closely associated with deforestation.” In 2018, Cargill was among a handful of multinational companies fined millions of dollars for buying soy from land that had been embargoed for illegal deforestation in Brazil.


Protesters drew attention to the role of David MacLennan in determining Cargill’s policies. In a speech outside MacLennan’s house, Revmira Beeby said that “Corporations are just intangible entities. It’s the handful of top executives and the Cargill family in charge of Cargill that are directly responsible for Cargill’s policies. CEO David MacLennan is personally responsible for the burning of the Amazon rainforest and the threatening of indigenous peoples and their land. Cargill’s corruption and inaction is what brings us here, outside the home of MacLennan, to hold him accountable.”


2019 has seen a record number of wildfires raging in protected areas of the Brazilian Amazon, with the Kayapó and Munduruku indigenous territories among the worst hit. The fires are no accident. The Bolsonaro regime is actively encouraging guerrilla farmers...