Fast Food Customers and Concerned Citizens Join a National Day of Action Calling on KFC to Stop Destroying Southern Forests
Letters Delivered to Over 200 Store Managers at KFC Restaurants Across the Country; Actions Targeting KFC Will Continue Until the Company Greens Its Packaging
Asheville, NC – Today, KFC customers and concerned citizens from around the South and across the United States, delivered letters to over 200 KFC store managers asking them to push their parent company, YUM! Brands, to green its paper packaging. The iconic KFC bucket, and other paper packaging used at KFC restaurants across the country comes from critical wetland forests and some of the last remaining special places on the southeastern coast.
The letter delivery is part of a national campaign, Kentucky Fried Forests, launched last April by North Carolina-based Dogwood Alliance, an organization that protects the forests and communities of the Southern US. The organization is challenging KFC to use less paper, increase the use of post-consumer recycled paper in all of its packaging, recycle more and to adopt a sector-leading policy that ensures its packaging is not coming from endangered forests or the worst of the worst practices in the woods.
“Today, hundreds of concerned citizens are calling out KFC and asking them to be a leader in the fast food industry,” said Scot Quaranda, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance. “KFC’s fast food packaging is destroying our forests but it doesn’t have to be that way. Many companies, including fast food giant McDonald’s have changed their policies to ensure their paper products are not destroying forests. It’s time for KFC to do its part to end the rampant destruction of the special forests in the South to make its chicken buckets.”
Though Dogwood Alliance has been attempting to engage with KFC for many years now, the company has refused to take meaningful action. Instead, KFC has chosen to greenwash its packaging by adopting the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification label. A vast majority of conservation organizations endorse the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standard as the gold-standard identifying responsibly sourced forest products, while adamantly opposing the SFI because it allows large-scale clearcutting, logging of endangered forests, conversion of natural forests to plantations, and widespread use of toxic chemicals.
KFC’s largest supplier in the South, (IP) has long been associated with these types of destructive practices. Notable has been the impact the company has had on the southeastern coast in places like North Carolina’s Green Swamp, where forested wetlands have been ditched and drained and converted to monoculture pine plantations, impacting endangered species such as the Venus Flytrap and causing flooding in nearby communities. As a major purchaser of paper products from , KFC has the ability to influence industry-wide change by committing to only using FSC certified products for the company’s needs throughout its supply chain, from shipping to stores.
The Southern US is the largest paper producing region in the world providing 20% of the globe’s paper. Every year an area larger than the state of New Hampshire is clearcut. Yet the region is home to a large number of endangered plants and animals which hang in the balance. While other fast food companies, including a recent announcement from McDonald’s, have introduced standards for sustainably sourced paper products from suppliers, KFC and its’ parent company, YUM! Brands, have been a slow mover in adopting practices despite years of engagement from Dogwood Alliance.
Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits. Dogwood Alliance has revolutionized the environmental practices of some of the world’s largest corporations. To support Dogwood Alliance’s call for KFC to adopt sustainable packaging practices send a letter to KFC leadership via www.kentuckyfriedforests.com, for more information on the organization visit www.dogwoodalliance.org.
To read more about McDonald’s recently announced environmental paper packaging policy, visit: http://www.dogwoodalliance.org/2011/03/mcdonalds-adopts-industry-leading-forest-standards-for-its-packaging/