Campaign Updates & News

It's Been a Spook-tacular Year for Rainforests

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Last October, nearly all of the Halloween candy handed out to adorably-costumed kids had direct ties to rainforest destruction. Most candy companies had no real policy for how they sourced their palm oil, the ubiquitous additive found in everything from candy bars to candy corn.

Without much pressure from consumer-facing companies, palm oil suppliers kept cutting down forests -- threatening the habitats of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger (my favourite animal, for the record) and orangutans -- and destroying carbon-rich peatlands, often using forced and child labor.

Not so sweet.

Last Halloween, if you wanted to hand out tiger-friendly treats, you had precious few options. Aside from a handful of small, environmentally-minded fair trade producers,Nestlé was the only major candy company to have a strong commitment to deforestation-free and peat-free palm oil.

Fast forward twelve months, and it's a heck of a lot easier to find a treat that isn't tricking the Sumatran tigers and orangutans out of their homes.

A quick glance at the Forest Heroes' tiger-friendly Halloween candy buying guide, published last October with our partners at SumOfUs.org, shows just how far we've come in a year.

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Bunge Joins the Second Green Revolution, Commits to Forest Conservation Policy for Palm Oil

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Yesterday, another major palm oil trader committed to a new no deforestation, no peat, and no exploitation policy. The announcement from White Plains, New York-based Bunge comes on the heels of a successful campaign by Forest Heroes and allies to convince Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme -- two big customers of Bunge's palm oil -- to commit to deforestation-free doughnuts.

Clearly, the trader has heard from its customers that the American public doesn't want to choose between delicious treats and forest conservation. 

“Today the supply chain worked, because consumer demand was heard,” said Kaytee Riek, Campaigns and Training Director with the global consumer watchdog SumOfUs, which is part of the Forest Heroes coalition, and whose activists have urged Bunge to take action over the last several months. “Consumers care about their forests and their climate. Forward-thinking commodity traders like Bunge are hearing this and profiting from it, while those like Musim Mas who cling to old models of “bulldoze and plant” risk losing access to customers and markets. Bunge made a smart decision today.”

Bunge now joins agribusiness giants Wilmar, Golden-Agri Resources, and Cargill in committing to responsible palm oil sourcing, which together comprise the vast majority of global palm oil trade.  

"Bunge’s announcement sends a clear message to rogue actors in the palm oil industry that you can’t escape the push for forest and peat conservation," said Forest Heroes chairman Glenn Hurowitz. "Customers want products made in an environmentally responsible way, period. That’s true for Sarawak, Indonesia, Africa, and beyond."

Click here for the official Forest Heroes press release on the announcement.

What makes this announcement particularly important is that Bunge is committing to stop buying palm oil from suppliers that destroy ultra carbon-rich peatlands, known as "deep carbon". With this move, Bunge could help stop the rampant deforestation of peatlands in the Malyasian state of Sarawak, in the heart of the island of Borneo, where Bunge buys the majority of its palm oil.

Of course, this announcement is just the start, and now the company must get on with the hard work of rapidly implementing the policy, and extending it across all of the agri-giant's many commodities.  

Hurowitz explained, "For its part, Bunge needs to move forward with fast, aggressive and transparent implementation, including in joint ventures like its Bumiraya Investindo plantations in Kalimantan. It needs to meet the demand from its consumer-facing customers for limiting the use of hazardous pesticides, treating methane effluent, and protecting wildlife. Finally, Bunge should build on the progress it’s making in palm oil and join competitors Wilmar and Cargill in applying its Forest Conservation Policy across all the commodities it trades around the world."

Below, find a roundup of the media coverage of this exciting announcement from Bunge.

E&E News: Agribusiness giant Bunge announces zero-deforestation commitment (subscription required)

Business Green: Agri-giant Bunge commits to zero deforestation palm oil

Food NavigatorBunge commits to deforestation-free palm oil

Union of Concerned ScientistsAgribusiness Giant Bunge Commits To Deforestation-Free Palm Oil

MongaBay: Bunge commits to zero deforestation palm oil

TCE TodayBunge makes sustainable palm oil pledge

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Agribusiness Giant Bunge Announces Forest Conservation Policy for Palm Oil

Here's the official Forest Heroes press release about Bunge's exciting announcement. 

AGRIBUSINESS GIANT BUNGE ANNOUNCES
FOREST CONSERVATION POLICY FOR PALM OIL
New York Company Key to Ending Climate Devastation in Heart of Borneo

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Forest, climate and consumer advocates today praised agribusiness giant Bunge for announcing a new policy to end deforestation and conserve forests in its palm oil supply chain. Bunge joins similar policies from traders Wilmar International, Golden Agri-Resources and Cargill, but it is set to have an outsized impact: the company is by far the largest buyer of palm oil from the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo – the epicenter of devastating emissions of climate pollution locked in carbon-rich peatland.

“Bunge is joining the second green revolution that is breaking the link between agriculture and deforestation,” said Forest Heroes chairman Glenn Hurowitz, who negotiated Bunge’s policy in meetings in White Plains and Singapore over the last several months. “Bunge’s announcement sends a clear message to rogue actors in the palm oil industry that you can’t escape the push for forest and peat conservation. Customers want products made in an environmentally responsible way, period. That’s true for Sarawak, Indonesia, Africa, and beyond.”

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Forest Heroes has been campaigning to convince Bunge to announce a Forest Conservation Policy and take action in Sarawak. Today’s announcement comes following a successful international effort by Forest Heroes and its allies to persuade Bunge customers Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme – major buyers of Bunge palm oil, which they use to fry their doughnuts – to announce their own Forest Conservation policies. Forest Heroes had initially named Bunge as a problem supplier in its Deforestation Doughnuts report this summer, but recognized progress by the company in its recent Green Tigers report that ranks the palm oil industry’s top suppliers.

“Today the supply chain worked, because consumer demand was heard,” said Kaytee Riek, Campaigns and Training Director with the global consumer watchdog SumOfUs, which is part of the Forest Heroes coalition, and whose activists have urged Bunge to take action over the last several months. “Consumers care about their forests and their climate. Forward-thinking commodity traders like Bunge are hearing this and profiting from it, while those like Musim Mas who cling to old models of “bulldoze and plant” risk losing access to customers and markets. Bunge made a smart decision today.”

Peat is almost pure carbon, and destroying peatland to create palm oil plantations is the largest contributor to climate change in Southeast Asia – with Sarawak one of the top contributors. Just between 2005 and 2010, the state cleared a full third of its peatland, with a significant amount by the company Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd (SOP) and its affiliates. According to trade data, Bunge purchases 88 percent of SOP’s exports, and Bunge’s own filings show this represents 44 percent of their total palm oil trade.

“Today’s step is a real plus, but now several things need to happen,” said Hurowitz. “Most of all, this announcement gives the government of Sarawak and palm oil growers the market opportunity they need to protect forests, peat and local communities.

“For its part, Bunge needs to move forward with fast, aggressive and transparent implementation, including in joint ventures like its Bumiraya Investindo plantations in Kalimantan,” said Hurowitz. “It needs to meet the demand from its consumer-facing customers for limiting the use of hazardous pesticides, treating methane effluent, and protecting wildlife. Finally, Bunge should build on the progress it’s making in palm oil and join competitors Wilmar and Cargill in applying its Forest Conservation Policy across all the commodities it trades around the world.”

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New York Times Covers Big UN Forests Announcements, Features Forest Heroes

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In its coverage of the UN Climate Summit, the New York Times paid special attention to the watershed announcements and pledges to stop the destruction of forests. The article, running on front page of the Business section in the New York edition of today's Times, quotes directly from Forest Heroes campaign chair Glenn Hurowitz's statement on the Kadin pledge, which was delivered to the UN Climate Summit. Here are a few paragraphs from the Times:

Tuesday’s declaration on forests was also endorsed by 32 governments, by numerous advocacy groups and by organizations representing indigenous people. Among corporations, it also included consumer goods companies that have pledged to impose tough standards on their suppliers of the oil, an ingredient in thousands of everyday products.

Cargill, the huge American commodity processor, went even further,extending a previous no-deforestation pledge that it had made on palm oil and soybeans to cover every commodity the company handles — one of the most sweeping environmental pledges ever made by a large agricultural company.

“We want to make sure we are treating the environment with respect,” David W. MacLennan, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview. “It’s the right thing to do for the planet, for indigenous peoples, for our customers and for our employees.”

The major Indonesian palm oil processors, including Cargill, issued a separate declaration on Tuesday pledging a crackdown on deforestation, and asking the Indonesian government to adopt stronger laws. Forest Heroes, an environmental group, called the declaration “a watershed moment in the history of both Indonesia and global agriculture. We should not underestimate the significance of what is happening.”

Read the rest of the article here

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The Kadin Pledge: A Watershed Moment for Forests at the UN Climate Summit

Yesterday, at the UN Climate Summit in New York City, four major palm oil companies joined with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Kadin, in calling upon the Indonesian government to eliminate deforestation and peatland destruction nationwide.  The four companies--Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Cargill, and Asian Agri--all reaffirmed their commitments to eliminate deforestation in their supply chains and called on the Indonesian government to be a partner in enshrining these reforms into national law.  

Here is Forest Heroes statement in support of the Kadin pledge, delivered at the Summit:

Statement on Kadin Pledge, delivered at the UN Climate Summit in New York City

Glenn Hurowitz, Chairman, Forest Heroes

September 23, 2014

New York - Today marks a watershed moment in the history of both Indonesia and global agriculture. We should not underestimate the significance of what is happening. Indonesia’s biggest agriculture producers are realizing that it is possible to grow more food while protecting forests, communities, and the global climate.  

This realization is upending one of the most fundamental theories about civilization’s growth. For thousands of years, people have assumed that spreading civilization meant converting diverse natural ecosystems into monocultures that served only man. Today, the actions of these companies and the Indonesian government are showing that that assumption is not true. We are seeing a second green revolution unfold before our eyes.

There are millions of acres of degraded land that are available for planting across Indonesia. Forest conservation policies are driving farmers to invest in expansion through yield improvement instead of forest clearance.  This development is having profound economic effects.

The rise of the “Asian tiger” economies has been one of the most profound developments of the past half-century. Too often in the past, this growth has come at the expense of forests, clean water, and clean air, and has damaged the well-being of the very communities it was meant to help. Today’s announcement shows that Asia’s economic future belongs to the Green Tigers, those companies and countries that understand that protecting forests and communities is essential to growth.

The companies here today are realizing that protecting forests is essential to securing market access around the world. Consumers want to know where their food comes from and that it’s produced in a way that is consistent with their values. That means that it’s produced in ways that do not harm forests or the climate, strengthen local communities, and respect workers’ and women’s rights. Companies that continue to clear forests or peatland or abuse human rights will simply not be able to sell to high-value markets.

Wall Street is weighing in too. Investors are increasingly wary of providing finance to companies engaged in deforestation. The message is clear: no forests, no cash. But companies that act responsibly will find what these companies are finding: investors are ready to finance the next stage of agriculture’s growth, so long as it is compatible with their goals to protect the forests.

Of course, companies cannot secure lasting gains for forests alone. They need government to ensure that rogue actors don’t undermine them by continuing to engage in deforestation. Government must be a partner in monitoring and enforcing these policies. There is much work to be done, but the Indonesian government’s strong support for these announcements could mean a real change.

The companies here today have created a dramatic political realignment. Companies that were once associated with deforestation are now calling on the government to ensure agriculture’s growth by protecting forests. Courageous private sector action has created a huge, but fleeting, opportunity for the Indonesian government to secure forest and community protection for the long term. Now it is up to the government to seize that opportunity.

On behalf of the Forest Heroes campaign and our millions of supporters around the world, I am here to say that we will support the Indonesian government as it does the hard work to realize this opportunity. As Indonesia makes progress, we will encourage the world’s biggest businesses and financiers to buy responsibly produced Indonesian agricultural products. We will work with governments around the world to provide incentives and training to smallholders to enable them to make a rapid transformation to deforestation-free production as well. And we will work hand in hand to spread this progress across commodities and around the world.

Congratulations to Dharsono Hartono, the US government, Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Cargill and all the Forest Heroes who made this moment possible.

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Green Tigers Report Ranks Major Palm Oil Companies' Sustainability Performance

green_tigers_cover_page.jpgSoutheast Asia’s economies are roaring. But with the rise of the so-called “Asian tiger” economies, too many companies are still putting the region’s environment and economy at risk through continued deforestation and other irresponsible practices. But some countries and companies are choosing a different path. They are adapting to the revolutionized global market by evolving to ensure that their growth does not come at the expense of forests.

These are the Green Tigers -- those companies that are working aggressively to protect forests and reduce their overall environmental footprint are enjoying dramatically improved market access -- with strong prospects for continued international growth. 

The Green Tigers report by Forest Heroes ranks palm oil companies on their adherence to forest conservation requirements -- showing which companies are slated to prosper in the new era of forest protection, and which are lagging far behind.

Learn more about the report here

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Breaking: Cargill CEO Announces Major Action on Forests

Big forest news out of New York City. Here is the Forest Heroes official statement on Cargill's announcement. 

Forest Heroes praises Cargill for extending deforestation-free principles across commodities

CargillLogo.jpgNEW YORK, NY – On a day of momentous declarations to slow deforestation and spur climate action, one company’s pledge stood out among the pack. At the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, Cargill CEO David MacLennan stood beside Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to announce that Cargill would extend the principles of its recent “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” palm oil policy to other commodities around the world, such as soy, sugar, beef, and cocoa. 

“Recently, we announced a new policy, committing to zero deforestation in the palm oil trade,” MacLennan said. “Now, we understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains. That’s why I am proud to announce today that Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”

Forest Heroes praised Cargill’s move, and urged the company to take essential follow-up steps.

“Following its recent No-Deforestation policy for palm oil, Cargill’s commitment to cut deforestation across all commodities has the potential to be a transformative move in the fight against climate change,” said Glenn Hurowitz, Chairman of Forest Heroes, a global campaign to break the link between deforestation and agricultural production. “Cargill understands that it doesn’t matter if a forest is threatened by palm oil, sugar, or soy, it’s still threatened. The key now will be for Cargill to formalize and implement a comprehensive policy over the next three months that sets an ambitious deadline to implement this commitment.” 

Forest Heroes has worked closely with Cargill and our allies in recent months to secure their commitments on sustainable palm oil and today’s historic announcement. Other leading agribusinesses, such as Wilmar International—the world’s largest trader of palm oil—are already implementing No-Deforestation policies across all global commodity supply chains, including soy and sugar.

“Cargill helped pioneer the success of the No Deforestation approach through its participation in the Brazilian moratorium on deforestation for soy in the Amazon. As the future of the soy moratorium hangs in the balance, it will be essential for Cargill and its peers to continue this essential policy in order to realize the company’s forest protection commitments. While implementation is the key, Cargill is doing the right thing by announcing it will take steps to protect forests wherever they are threatened.” 

Today’s announcement comes as more than 150 countries, businesses, and civil society organizations announced their support for the New York Declaration that sets a goal of dramatically reducing global deforestation. 

“Today’s announcement would not have happened without the herculean efforts of Ban Ki-moon to ensure that this summit was about action, not talk,” said Hurowitz. “He is no ordinary diplomat, and he is getting extraordinary results.”   

Cargill is one of the world's largest agribusiness companies, with $134.9 billion in annual sales and more than 143,000 employees in 67 countries. It is the largest privately held company in the United States. Their commitment to apply deforestation-free principles across their commodity supply chains around the world is remarkable, given their leading positions in soy, sugar, cotton, cocoa, beef, and many other products. In soy alone, it handles 30 million metric tons a year, more than 10% of global supply, with similar or greater market share in sugar, and several other commodities. Their supply chain covers millions of hectares of land in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America, meaning that their commitment has the potential to dramatically cut deforestation and protect communities around the world.                                                                                          

“With Wilmar and Cargill moving to protect forest across a range of different crops, it’s time for Bunge and ADM to join them in creating this second green revolution that increases agricultural production while protecting the world’s forests,” said Hurowitz. “The economic future belongs to the companies that are at the forefront of protecting forests and fighting climate change.”

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Five Major Palm Oil Companies Announce Moratorium on Deforestation, But Big Questions Remain

Five of the world’s largest palm oil companies announced that they would suspend clearance of High Carbon Stock forests during a year-long study. IOI Loders Croklaan (which has been the target of Forest Heroes’ main campaign), Musim Mas, Sime Darby, KLK, and Asian Agri all announced that they institute a moratorium while they studied the issue.  If the companies really follow through to protect these forests, this announcement could mark the point at which almost all the top palm oil companies rallied behind a common approach to protecting forests.

But this is the palm oil industry – it’s not that simple. Significant questions remain about the companies’ intentions. They didn’t define what they would consider a High Carbon Stock landscape that would be protected, leaving a lot of leeway. No Deforestation companies like Wilmar, Cargill and GAR have all employed an approach to HCS pioneered by The Forest Trust and Greenpeace, and have joined with NGOs like Forest Heroes to create the High Carbon Stock Steering Group to further refine the approach issue.

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Furthermore, it’s unclear how any of these companies will actually implement this commitment, and for how long. The companies lack comprehensive “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” policy like Wilmar, Cargill, GAR, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kellogg, or more than a dozen other major companies. However, Asian Agri announced its own policy, which requires independent verification and other improvements before it can be considered entirely credible.

But there is hope. Forest Heroes and our partner SumOfUs.org are in discussions with IOI Loders Croklaan to develop a strong forest conservation policy and implementation plan.  If IOI and the other companies adopt strong policies, real implementation plans, and join with credible partners, then this just might be the beginning of the end of deforestation in the palm oil industry.

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Krispy Kreme Chooses Forests: US Doughnut Industry Fills the Sustainability Hole, Forest Heroes Celebrates a Double Victory in Less Than 24 hours!

Today, Krispy Kreme committed to source 100% responsible, deforestation-free palm oil.

If you feel like it was just yesterday that you were reading about a major American doughnut seller announcing a responsible deforestation-free palm oil policy, well it was.

Krispy Kreme’s announcement comes just 24 hours after fellow industry leader Dunkin’ Donuts released its new palm oil policy. Krispy Kreme’s policy actually goes a step further than Dunkin’s by requiring that its global suppliers comply as quickly as possible, but no later than the end of 2016, whereas Dunkin' has yet to announce a deadline for its international supply chain.

“The one-two punch of Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme going deforestation-free signal a rapid shift in the U.S. fast food industry,” said Deborah Lapidus, Forest Heroes Campaign Director. “Irresponsible palm oil has been a hole, so to speak, in the environmental record of the doughnut industry. Now, consumers who care about forests and wildlife can know that indulging in a tasty treat won’t threaten tigers and orangutans.”

Let’s take a moment to recall the amazing work by all the Forest Heroes volunteers, online activists, and partner organizations that led up to these announcements:

It was just four months ago that we went to Dunkin’ Donuts shareholders meeting to urge the company to be a Forest Hero. Just three months ago that we released our Deforestation Doughnuts report that exposed the “no questions asked” palm oil sourcing of Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and Tim Hortons. And just ten weeks ago that Forest Heroes organizers and volunteers started showing up at grand openings of Krispy Kreme stores wearing tiger suits and holding banners to raise awareness about palm oil.

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And now, this week, two of the three major doughnut companies in North America have embraced forest conservation. It’s truly become a “race to the top”, with Tim Hortons falling far behind its competitors, having yet to adopt standards to delink its palm oil from deforestation.

Tell doughnut mega-chain Tim Hortons its time to do better for Sumatran tigers and orangutans—sign the petition here.

The new commitments from both Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme require suppliers to adhere to the following principles:

  • No Deforestation: Suppliers must protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and ultra-high-carbon peatland of any depth.
  • No Exploitation: Suppliers are required to protect human and worker rights, and obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from communities for all development on their lands.
  • Traceability: The companies are working with suppliers to trace all palm oil back to the preliminary plantation sources.

Please take a moment to thank Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme and urge Tim Hortons to shape up. Sign the petition to Tim Hortons, and then click below to Tweet:

Thanks @KrispyKreme @DunkinDonuts for protecting forests. @TimHortons it's time to step up! http://ctt.ec/2yKJQ+ http://ctt.ec/eU4g4+

Update: Here's a quick roundup of media covering the two announcements.

ClimateProgressWhy U.S. Donuts Just Got More Environmentally Friendly

Winston-Salem JournalKrispy Kreme, Dunkin’ pledge to use sustainable palm oil

Greensboro News & RecordKrispy Kreme, Dunkin’ pledge to use sustainable palm oil

Hickory RecordKrispy Kreme, Dunkin’ pledge to use sustainable palm oil

GristDunkin’ Donuts cleans up its palm-oil act (and Krispy Kreme follows suit)

BusinessGreenKrispy Kreme follows Dunkin' with doughnut sustainable palm oil pledge

Union of Concerned Scientists-Equation blogOut with Duh-nuts, in with DO-nuts: Two Major Fast Food Brands Tackle Deforestation

NPR-The Salt blogSweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

MongaBayKrispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts to cut palm oil linked to deforestation

Eco-Business: US doughnut giants make deforestation-free pledge

GreenBiz.comDunkin' Donuts: Time to trace the palm oil

Planet ExpertsDunkin’ Donuts & Krispy Kreme Make Palm Oil Pledge 

The official Forest Heroes press release is below.

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One Day After Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme Commits to Zero-Deforestation Doughnuts

Here is the official Forest Heroes press release about today's exciting news. 

DOUGHNUT INDUSTRY FILLS THE SUSTAINABILITY HOLE

One Day After Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme Commits to Zero-Deforestation Doughnuts

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The doughnut business became a lot sweeter today as Krispy Kreme committed to source 100% responsible, deforestation-free palm oil. The move comes one day after industry giant Dunkin’ Donuts made its own commitment to only source from companies that protect forests and worker and community rights.

“The one-two punch of Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme going deforestation-free signal a rapid shift in the U.S. fast food industry,” said Deborah Lapidus, Forest Heroes Campaign Director. “Irresponsible palm oil has been a hole, so to speak, in the environmental record of the doughnut industry. Now, consumers who care about forests and wildlife can know that indulging in a tasty treat won’t threaten tigers and orangutans.”

On Tuesday, Dunkin’ announced a new policy to strengthen its environmental standards by only purchasing palm oil from companies not linked to deforestation. Less than 24 hours later, Krispy Kreme followed Dunkin's lead. Krispy Kreme went one step further by committing to a deadline for compliance across its global operations. The move was hailed by Forest Heroes as a true “race to the top.”

The announcements follow months of action by the Forest Heroes campaign, consumers and investors across the U.S. that have urged Krispy Kreme to stop frying its doughnuts in oil sourced from cleared rainforests. Over the last several months, dozens of activists have turned out in tiger suits and held banners in support of forest friendly doughnuts at early morning Krispy Kreme store openings in Delaware, Florida, and Tennessee,. Hundreds of thousands of activists, many with the organization SumOfUs.org have taken action online to call on Krispy Kreme to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain.

Photos and accounts of the actions in different parts of the country are available at www.forestheroes.org.

In June, Forest Heroes launched the campaign by releasing a report, Deforestation Doughnuts, which talked about how Dunkin’, Krispy, and Canadian doughnut mega-chain Tim Hortons were frying doughnuts in palm oil connected to destruction of rainforests in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. As of today, two of the three major doughnut companies analyzed in the report have adopted responsible sourcing for their palm oil. Only the Canadian company Tim Hortons is yet to announce a policy to clean up its own supply chain.

“If Americans can eat deforestation-free doughnuts, what is Tim Hortons waiting for, eh?” said Kevin Grandia, Forest Heroes Canada campaign coordinator.

Palm oil is a $50 billion a year commodity found in thousands of snack foods and other consumer products, but its most visible use in North America is in doughnuts. Commercial doughnut companies like Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and Tim Hortons fry their doughnuts directly in palm oil, which is often the second ingredient listed after flour. Palm oil plantations have driven widespread destruction of tropical rainforests – pushing wildlife like Sumatran tigers and orangutans to the edge of extinction, exploiting local communities and workers, and adding enormous climate pollution to the atmosphere.

The new commitments from both Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme require suppliers to adhere to the following principles:

  • No Deforestation: Suppliers must protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon stock, and peatland of any depth.
  • No Exploitation: Suppliers are required to protect human and worker rights, and obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent from communities for all development on their lands.
  • Traceability: The companies are working with suppliers to trace all palm oil back to the preliminary plantation sources.

Today, over 60 percent of the global palm oil trade is covered by zero-deforestation policies. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ join a growing number of consumer brands that have adopted responsible palm oil sourcing commitments, including Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Mars, General Mills, ConAgra, Johnson & Johnson, and many others.

“The doughnut industry has undergone a dramatic transformation in just the last couple of days,” said Lapidus. “Consumers and shareholders are making their voices heard. We’re seeing real global momentum towards a second green revolution in which growing food does not have to mean destroying forests, and that’s sweet indeed.”

Krispy Kreme’s new commitments for responsible palm oil can be found here.  Then, open the FAQ regarding sustainable palm oil.

Dunkin’s press announcement of its new responsible palm oil standards can be found on MarketWatch.

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