What YUM! Inc. Doesn’t Want You to Know

by Rolf Skar

April 26, 2011

Activist Apes at a KFC

Have you ever heard of the company called YUM! Brands? Most haven’t. 

Despite that, YUM! is actually the world’s largest fast-food company… bigger than McDonald’s or Burger King.  You probably haven’t heard of them because they are the parent company (“yum-brella?”) to franchises like Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell. 

All told, YUM! has more fast-food restaurants around the world than anyone else.

Being a global industry leader brings with it great power, and a duty to exercise that influence responsibly. This is especially true if you buy things like paper, beef, palm oil and other commodities often linked to forest destruction. So far, YUM! doesn’t seem to get that.

Last year, Greenpeace highlighted YUM! buying packaging from Sinar Mas palm oil company Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).  To its credit, Golden Agri-Resources made a significant announcement to end deforestation following intense Greenpeace campaigning and high-profile contract cancellations. But APP, continues its forest destruction unabated.  And, YUM! executives have maintained their head-in-the-sand approach rainforest destruction.

The “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” routine of YUM! executives is particularly strange because it is the opposite of what we see happening in other companies. It is as if they are stuck in a cultural time-warp where social media, modern public relations and corporate responsibility do not exist. Executives from major brands are learning that corporate responsibility is actually good for business…and ignoring problems and customer feedback is not.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch what happened when a friendly activist and orangutan tried to deliver thousands of comments from customers to Pizza Hut.  Click here.

When will YUM! executives learn? How long will they ignore customers?  Click here to send a message to YUM! executives to let them know it is time they take action to protect rainforests!

Rolf Skar

By Rolf Skar

Rolf Skar is the Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA. Since 2007, Rolf has contributed to international Greenpeace campaigns to stop deforestation in the Canadian boreal forest, the Paradise forests of Southeast Asia, and the Brazilian Amazon.

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