Press Release: Donut Giants Take First Step to Cut Ties with Conflict Palm Oil


Wednesday, September 17th, 2014


Laurel Sutherlin, 415.246.0161

Donut Giants Take First Step to Cut Ties with Conflict Palm Oil

RAN welcomes commitments from donut giants as a ‘step in the right direction’ but says thorough, rapid implementation is needed to address the urgent crisis and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil from products globally.

SAN FRANCISCO—In the face of growing criticism over their use of the controversial food additive Conflict Palm Oil, Dunkin’ Brands and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have joined a growing global trend and released new palm oil sourcing commitments. These announcements are notable as both commitments go beyond the often-criticized standards of  “sustainable” palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

“Dunkin’ Brands and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have taken a step in the right direction. For communities, plantation workers and the endangered species threatened by palm oil expansion, what matters now is that these donut giants earnestly and rapidly implement these commitments throughout their global operations. The race is now on to see which of these iconic companies will be the first to truly reform its full supply chain and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil for good.” said Rainforest Action Network agribusiness campaign director Gemma Tillack.

Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, uses palm oil to produce donuts, ice cream and other snacks sold in 60 countries worldwide.  “Dunkin’ Brands’ commitment requires stores in the US to break the links between its products and suppliers that destroy rainforests, drain carbon-rich peatlands, and violate human rights by December 31, 2016, but it so far fails to set the same requirements for its stores across the globe,” continued Tillack. “This critical gap must be addressed to meet the demands of consumers.”

Both Dunkin’ Brands and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have responded to mounting pressure from consumers, investors and public campaigns by a growing number of NGOs to require their suppliers to stop destroying rainforests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, violating human rights and using forced and child labor. 

These announcements follow the release of strengthened palm oil purchasing commitments from half of the companies dubbed the ‘Snack Food 20’ by Rainforest Action Network, including food giants Nestle, Mars, Mondelez, Kellogg’s and ConAgra Foods. Rainforest Action Network exposed the Snack Food 20 companies’ use of Conflict Palm Oil connected to rainforest destruction, orangutan extinction, human rights violations and climate pollution with a public pressure campaign launched in Spring 2013. 

For more info:  The full report titled ‘Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations’ can be downloaded here:


Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: