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Dunkin’ Brands has emerged as a front runner as it has released a responsible palm oil commitment that requires its suppliers to comply with a higher standard than the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by ending the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights.

In order to drive real change, Dunkin’ Brands should require compliance across suppliers’ entire operations, and publish a time-bound plan with an assertive deadline to cut Conflict Palm Oil from its global operations.

Current Palm Oil Commitment (September 2014):

Requires suppliers to go beyond the inadequate standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and end the destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights

Requires palm oil to be traceable to the plantation level

Applies to all branded products or in all countries where products are made and sold

Requires independent, third-party verification of supplier compliance with responsible palm oil production practices, on the destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights

Requires “current and potential suppliers to complete a supplier code of conduct survey to help identify social and environmental risks in [their] supply chain and to ensure continued adherence to [the company’s] policies and standards”

Sets a deadline to source palm oil that is fully traceable to the plantation level, RSPO certified and compliant with the responsible palm oil principles in its policy by December 31, 2016 for its US operations

Has a commitment to “disqualify any suppliers in serious violation of its policy, and which do not take immediate remedial action to correct those violations”

Has a commitment to publicly report on progress annually, or on an interim basis as needed, towards full implementation of it commitment

Weaknesses in Palm Oil Commitment:

No assertive deadline for eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from global operations 

No requirement for compliance across suppliers’ entire operations

No requirement for an immediate moratorium on the destruction of rainforests and peatlands across grower entire operations

No published procedures to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil suppliers

No public time-bound implementation plan, with clear performance based milestones for achieving traceable, transparent and independently verified supply chains

No requirement for public transparency from palm oil growers, refiners, and traders

Current status:

Ongoing sourcing from unknown plantations and high risk regions

Company products at high risk of contamination with Conflict Palm Oil

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