We are proud to announce that we have recently joined a group of companies to implore the government of Canada to protect woodland caribou, a species that is under threat by unsustainable logging practices. With loggers demolishing their habitat at an alarming rate, caribou are facing dire consequences. According to one recent study, if current logging trends continue, 30% of woodland caribou could be gone within 15 years.
Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we are committed to sustainability. That means that we seek materials that are responsibly sourced, including paper packaging that is Forest Stewardship Council Certified. Read the full letter below, and join us in urging the Canadian government to protect woodland caribou.
Dear Minister McKenna and Premiers Couillard, Notley, and Wynne:
As companies that have an interest in making sustainable purchasing decisions and rely on pulp, paper, and other forest products for our companies’ needs, we write to ask you to act swiftly to protect the boreal Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) a species beloved across North America, and central to many Canadian Indigenous peoples’ culture and traditions.
We commend the Government of Canada for calling for the protection of this majestic species and its habitat as part of the Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Boreal Population). We urge Canada’s provincial and territorial governments to immediately protect critical Woodland Caribou habitat in Canada’s boreal forest. We also ask the Federal Government to step in and conserve habitat that remains unprotected.
We are concerned that the boreal forest, its species, and the communities that depend on them are threatened by unsustainable logging practices. We are particularly concerned about the decline of the Woodland Caribou. This species is listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act due primarily to the impact of industrial activities on its habitat, with logging as the main source of habitat degradation. Recent surveys indicate that only 14 of Canada’s 51 boreal Woodland Caribou ranges are self-sustaining, and wildlife scientists say that 30% of the country’s population could disappear in the next 15 years unless action is taken.
Based on our environmental commitments to our customers, we seek materials that are free of controversy and have been acquired through sustainable harvesting. While we commend individual forestry companies that have certification, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), we strongly believe scientifically rigorous province-wide Woodland Caribou protection plans are needed to reassure buyers that no boreal products have been purchased at the expense of this threatened species’ and their intact forest habitat.
We echo the Federal Government’s request that provinces submit robust caribou habitat protection plans that are grounded in science, and ask that you submit these with the consultation and consent of the Indigenous peoples whose traditional territories include Woodland Caribou habitat. We also call on the Federal Government to take strong interim measures to protect critical Woodland Caribou habitat until recovery plans can be fully implemented.
We welcome the opportunity to learn about your progress in developing these plans.
Renaud des Rosiers
Amy’s Kitchen, Incorporated
Ben & Jerry’s
PR & Communications Manager
Senior Director, Global Sustainability
Print and Resources Buyer
Liturgy Training Publications
The Procter & Gamble Company
Rose International, Inc.
Download the full letter here.