Astroturf campaign by the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity suffers defeat
A campaign by the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity, a group that campaigns on behalf of Asia Pulp and Paper’s interests in the United States, failed to stop Kroger from banning APP’s paper products from its stores.
Kroger, America’s largest grocery store, on Thursday said it would no longer sell Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) products due to concerns over deforestation. The move came after Greenpeace targeted Kroger, which is believed to be the biggest U.S. seller of Paseo, APP’s toilet paper brand. Greenpeace and other environmental groups including WWF, Greenomics-Indonesia, and the Rainforest Action Network have shown that APP continues to clear rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia for fiber plantations.
The Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity launched the PulpWars web site after Greenpeace stepped up its APP campaign last year. Its first report was modeled after a Greenpeace report, “How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet”, using a nearly identical layout and color scheme. Earlier this year it launched DarkWars, an anti-Greenpeace web site. Meanwhile the Facebook page run by the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity at times hosts comments calling for violence — including murder — against Greenpeace members.
While the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity has refused to reveal its financial backers, at one point APP said it “supported” the group. Later APP backtracked and said it meant it supported the group philosophically.
This fall the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity launched a campaign calling for some of America’s largest companies to ignore Greenpeace and continue buying APP products. The Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity claimed the petition campaign generated 120,000 emails, but that apparently wasn’t enough to influence Kroger.
The Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity has, on occasion, attempted to portray itself as an anti-poverty organization, yet it ignores research showing the mixed economic benefits of Indonesia’s pulp and paper industry for the rural poor. More about the economics of the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia can be found Does chopping down rainforests for pulp and paper help alleviate poverty in Indonesia?, Palm oil, paper drive large-scale destruction of Indonesia’s forests, but account for diminishing role in economy, says report, and Paper commitments for the Indonesian industry.