Politics & Policy

Doughnuts to Blame for Deforestation?

Activists say the grease from your Krispy Kreme doughnut may be killing orangutans.

Environmentalists are taking on an unexpected — and unexpectedly delicious — enemy of the Earth.

Protestors say the Krispy Kreme doughnut company is responsible for destroying the habitat of endangered animals such as Sumatran tigers and orangutans.

Volunteers for the Forest Heroes Campaign want the company to stop frying doughnuts in palm oil produced by hewing rainforests. They rallied Tuesday to protest the opening of a Krispy Kreme store in New Castle, Del.

Management quickly ordered the protesters to leave the premises, so they moved across the street. “Clearly Krispy Kreme understands that the public knowing the unappetizing truth about its links to rainforest destruction is bad for business,” Forest Heroes activist Kevin Grandia wrote on the campaign website.

Krispy Kreme had begun to address palm-oil concerns prior to the protest, telling Philly.com that it had started buyimg sustainable palm oil in January 2014. The company now obtains oil only from suppliers with Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil certification. It also began purchasing enough GreenPalm certificates to cover its palm-oil needs by the end of 2015. GreenPalm is an environmentally friendly trading program for palm oil.

Krispy Kreme is the latest purveyor of sweets the campaign has targeted. It has already persuaded other big companies, including Ferrero Rocher, Hershey’s, Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Mars, and General Mills, to sign agreements saying they will cease sourcing palm oil from deforestation.

A Forest Heroes report entitled “Deforestation Doughnuts” notes that people spend about $50 billion per year on palm oil. Major suppliers to doughnut makers, such as Cargill, IOI Loders Croklaan, and Bunge “source palm oil grown by cutting down rainforests, destroying carbon-rich peatland, or exploiting local communities and workers — no questions asked,” according to the report.

— Celina Durgin is a Franklin Center intern at National Review Online.

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