Oil palm plantation in Malaysia.
Activists have leveraged National Doughnut Day to call to major chains on their palm oil sourcing policies. Forest Heroes and SumOfUs say some of America’s largest doughnut companies are contributing to the destruction of tropical rainforests by purchasing palm oil with little regard for its origin.
“Big national doughnut chains have a ‘no questions asked’ policy for palm oil purchasing,” said the campaign. “Our exposé Deforestation Doughnuts shows that Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons are delicious but destructive (and not just to waistlines). They all fry their doughnuts in irresponsible palm oil grown on plantations made by cutting down rainforests.”
“These companies operate with a business model that is turning rainforests into a fat, caffeine, and sugar high.”
None of the three companies identified in the report have zero deforestation policies for palm oil sourcing, although Dunkin’ Donuts last year committed to source 100 percent of the palm oil it uses under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification standard, which aims to improve social and environmental performance for palm oil, but doesn’t include a zero deforestation requirement.
The report says Krispy Kreme has no public policy of any kind on palm oil and dismissed concerns that it was contributing to rainforest destruction.
“Krispy Kreme has refused to move toward responsible, non-deforestation doughnuts,” says the report.
Deforestation Doughnuts concludes by asserting that the companies could quickly switch to greener palm oil by purchasing from suppliers who have established zero deforestation policies.
“The good news is that the doughnut industry has many choices for sourcing responsible vegetable oil. Companies controlling more than half of global palm oil trade have adopted and are implementing “No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation” policies to ensure that any new plantations aren’t developed at the expense of forests or local communities. Wilmar International, Golden Agri-Resources, New Britain Palm Oil, Agropalma, and Daabon are leading the way in transforming the industry,” states the report.
“If a doughnut company wants to buy responsible palm oil, it could pick up the phone and find a ready supply, right now. It’s time for them to do it.”