Deforestation Doughnuts

Last Friday was National Doughnut Day, and many companies were offering free doughnuts to their customers. But what a lot of the people eating their free doughnuts do not know is how much the doughnut industry is affecting deforestation due to palm oil harvesting.

After flour, palm oil is the second largest ingredient in doughnuts and is also what they are fried in. Large companies that produce them—like Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Tim Hortons—purchase palm oil from suppliers that use harvesting practices linked to forest destruction.

Their current methods include rampant deforestation, destruction of carbon-rich peat, and exploitation of local communities. This is severely damaging to the homes of Sumatran tigers, orangutans, and indigenous people.

Forest Heroes, a campaign that focuses on protecting the global forests, and SumOfUS, a group of consumers, workers, and shareholders who aim to counterbalance large businesses, have released a report called Deforestation Doughnuts that shows how the doughnut industry is negatively impacting wildlife and people who live in areas of deforestation. Additionally, Forest Heroes is launching a petition to Krispy Kreme, telling the company they do not want to buy doughnuts at the cost of rainforest destruction.

Your consumer power can go a long way towards asking doughnut companies to adopt “No Deforestation, No Peat, and No Exploitation” palm oil policies and to push their suppliers to do the same. It’s time for doughnut manufacturers to catch up with other food sectors already making progress towards using palm oil that’s deforestation-free.

Jen RobertsonMarina StuartBy Marina Stuart, Conservation Associate