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Petitioning Starbucks: Stop selling baked goods containing palm oil!

Photo courtesy of Caroline Braker
Photo courtesy of Caroline Braker

Save Wildlife—Pass on Starbucks Pastries

This month, Izilwane–Voices for Biodiversity is teaming up with primatologist Paula Pebsworth in her campaign against Americans’ hunger for environmentally destructive palm oil. She has received a good deal of support in her work, but one notable hold out: Starbucks, a company known (perhaps surprisingly) for it social activism.

Over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil production in the last two decades. The majority of palm oil production – 80 percent – occurs in Indonesia and Malaysia, where roughly 50 percent of the original forest cover has been replaced with palm oil plantations, leading to the quickest declines in biodiversity anywhere on the globe. Every hour, an area the size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared for the production of oil palms, often in the form of monocropping. Some producers have made significant efforts to move toward sustainable farms, and some companies have switched to sustainable sources; however, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) says consumers are purchasing only half of the sustainably-produced palm oil being manufactured. With this obvious surplus in goods, why is Starbucks continuing to use an unsustainable source in its baked goods, contributing to loss of orangutan and elephant habitat?

As consumers and lovers of coffee, one thing we can do is say “No Thank You” to Starbucks. If you love orangutans and elephants more than pastries, then pass on the pastries until Starbucks changes their recipes to exclude palm oil or at the very least uses a sustainable source. Decimation of the rainforest is catastrophic for local and indigenous peoples, animals, plants, and, in particular, orangutans and elephants. If you want your voice to be heard, please consider signing this petition asking the coffee giant to make the right choice.

An example of the letter to Starbucks’ CEO (which is customizable for those of you who would like to make a more personal note) is as follows:
To:
Howard Schultz, Starbucks, CEO
Vivek Varma, Executive VP, Public Relations
Stop selling baked goods containing palm oil! Starbuck’s website states 4 commitments ” 1) helping communities thrive 2) minimizing your environmental footprint 3) offering the highest-quality, ethically purchased and produced products 4) being a good corporate citizen.” By selling products containing palm oil, you’re violating all 4 of these commitments and are not being a responsible company. You can do better – ditch the palm oil or at least start using a sustainable source, which we know is available!

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Please visit our petition page at Change.org to sign today!

Comments

  1. OrangAware
    United States
    July 24, 2013, 6:34 am

    Makes you wonder why an industry has to have a “truth” squadron of highly paid PR people and lobbyists. Kind of reminds me of big oil and tobacco companies.
    Who do you believe??

  2. Robert Hii
    Canada
    July 22, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Hello POTF! I see you’re still out here trying to sell your notions of worldwide schemes against palm oil. For the sake of the readers here and just so I don’t get accused of being a spokesman for the soy industry, lets see the facts in relation to your arguments.I use WWF and IUCN as sources as I am sure these organisations are not part of that scheme you refer to.

    1. Severe drop in orangutan populations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

    -http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/great_apes/orangutans/sumatran_orangutan/

    “The total population has significantly declined over the past few decades. For example, from 1992-2000, the population is considered to have declined by more than 50%.”

    -http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/great_apes/orangutans/
    “Both orangutan species have experienced sharp population declines over the past few decades. ”

    -http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/17975/0
    “The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Borneo in response to international demand (the oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, mechanics, and more recently as source of bio-diesel) has accelerated habitat losses. Between 1984 and 2003, the area planted with palm oil on Borneo increased from 2,000 km² to 27,000 km²: about 10,000 km² is located in Kalimantan; 12,000 km² in Sabah and 5,000 km² in Sarawak. Many areas used to be prime habitat for the orangutans: eastern lowlands of Sabah, the plains between the Sampit and Seruyan rivers in central Kalimantan, etc.”

    2. As for your claims of 59.5% forest coverage in Malaysia, let’s hear you explain what the eyes in the skies, the satellites tell us. 80% of Malaysian Borneo’s forests gone when your reports constantly boast of having that grand 59.5% forest canopy. Granted that this article speaks of the loss of forests due to logging and the roads needed for heavy equipment but please explain to the readers how it is that palm oil plantations pop up conveniently right after these ancient forests are logged over. Reasons like not wanting to waste degraded forests is not acceptable.
    http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0717-borneo-rainforest-logging.html?fbfnpg

    As for RAN’s “outrageous claims” its very possible that due to pressure they put on industry, they somehow got the palm oil industry to put its brakes on before the orangutan truly became extinct in 2011.

    Your predilection for fact bending has indeed set off many bullshit meters. I do not refute the fact that palm oil,if cultivated sustainably can be the source of vege-oils for all 7 billion of us. However, most of what we eat and what we slap on our skins is anything but sustainably produced. If you want to come to market wearing the sustainable label, walk the talk first.

  3. Palm Oil Truth Foundation
    Georgetown
    July 22, 2013, 8:43 am

    It is important to introduce a bit of context amid this knee-jerk media fueled outrage against an innocent commodity that is the victim of a cleverly planned trade protectionist action.

    First, the numbers fetishism of the Petitioners and others of their ilk is suspect. It was Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo who exposed the predilection of these NGOs to make spectacular claims! Libertiamo observed that one of the most commonly used is a statistic that in SE Asia alone, the equivalent of 300 football fields are deforested every hour for palm oil plantations, a claim that has been exposed as a significant distortion of facts by the FAO’s recent “State of the Forests 2011” report which observed that whilst rates of deforestation between 1990-2000 were high at a time of significant development in SE Asia, the trend had reversed dramatically between 2000-2010. Deforestation rates during this latter period “more than halved, making the NGO claims of rampant expansion entirely false!” – See more at: http://www.deforestationwatch.org/index.php?m=articles&id=36#sthash.y5kIB8Kc.dpuf

    Secondly, the issue of deforestation too flies in the face of facts for Malaysia, despite planting palm oil for more than a hundred years has still managed to retain 59.5 percent forest cover, certainly far better than New Zealand’s 31.87 percent or the UK’s 11.7%! (CIA World FactBook 2011), certainly not the apocalyptic picture of massive deforestation that these EC surrogates and apologists attempt to paint.

    Thirdly, the allegation that over “50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil production in the last two decades,” is facetious. It reminds us of the wild claim of the Rainforest Action Network that had to sheepishly remove from their website their wild allegation that palm oil cultivation would lead to the extinction of the orang utan by 2011. Well 2011 was dawning and the orang utan population in the wild had grown instead of going extinct when new tribes of more than 2000 wild apes were found in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesia, as reported by this self-same National Geographic (see: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090413-new-orangutans.html) With roughly 50,000 orangutans thought to remain in the wild, the new find could add 5 percent to the world’s known orangutan numbers, said Erik Meijaard, senior ecologist for the Nature Conservancy in Indonesia in 2009.

    It is well known that palm oil is grown on only 0.23% of the world’s agricultural land and yet is the world’s leading supplier of edible oil, supplying an incredible 30% of the world’s edible oil. This fact alone should alert any objective observer that something does not jive with all the palm oil and deforestation hype.

    With due respect, rather than rally people to their cause, their predilection for fact bending should set off most bullshit meters!

  4. Sarah Tyndall
    United Kingdom
    July 17, 2013, 7:55 am

    End the use of palm oil! Save the orangutan! Save the Rain forests!

  5. christine makin
    United Kingdom
    July 16, 2013, 6:01 pm

    Change your policies or we BOYCOTT!!

  6. Liz Grady
    DC
    July 16, 2013, 5:21 pm

    So glad we are highlighting this very important issue – thank you!!

  7. Gabriele Hernicke
    Spain
    July 16, 2013, 4:45 pm

    Stop selling baked goods containing palm oil! Starbuck’s website states 4 commitments ” 1) helping communities thrive 2) minimizing your environmental footprint 3) offering the highest-quality, ethically purchased and produced products 4) being a good corporate citizen.” By selling products containing palm oil, you’re violating all 4 of these commitments and are not being a responsible company. You can do better – ditch the palm oil or at least start using a sustainable source, which we know is available!

    Sincerely,
    Gaby Hernicke

  8. Patricia Lara
    Mexico City, Mexico
    July 16, 2013, 4:05 pm

    For the sake of ALL living creatures in this our Mother Earth, you Starbucks MUST stop using PALM OIL !!!! Think of the next generations!!! Is this the legacy you want for them? STOP USING PALM OIL !!!!!!!!!

  9. Michelle Wood
    Edinburgh.
    July 16, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Please! We must save the Orangutan before it is too late, why do we STILL have to sign petitions against the growing of Palms in prime Orang locations?, this is not just tragic – it is obscene.

  10. Frank conlin
    Oak bluffs, ma
    July 16, 2013, 3:07 pm

    No excuse for palm oil, it has devastating impacts.

  11. ALISON BARTLE
    Great Britain
    July 16, 2013, 2:45 pm

    It is our duty to protect all animals on our planet before we lose them all. They have every right to life and it is an absolute disgrace that in this case animals are dying because corporations are stealing their habitat for a product they wish to sell. Many of these animals are murdered because they ‘get in the way’ of business. This is outrageous. No man has the right to decide the fate of any animal on our planet. I refuse to buy anything with palm oil in it. I hope the world follows suit. Leave these animals to live peacefully in their own environment

  12. carry bent
    uk
    July 16, 2013, 2:41 pm

    stop selling goods with Palm oil in

  13. Kathy Osborn
    United States
    July 16, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Stop this madness!

  14. Jody
    United States
    July 16, 2013, 2:08 pm

    Stop selling products that contain palm oil. Do something good and help sent an example

  15. Sean
    London
    July 16, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Starbucks stop using palm oil. There has to be a better way

  16. S. Pony
    USA
    July 16, 2013, 11:54 am

    Didn’t Starbucks and all their buddies drive the Javan Tiger into extinction by turning their entire habitat (Java) into a coffee plantation? People need to wake up and smell the palm oil before all of Indonesia is a palm plantation. The last thing us 1st worldians needs is giant supply of fatty cooking oil. Hoping people pressure big companies faster before all of the Indonesian rain forest is burned down, logged, and turned into a palm plantation that is uninhabitable by the native species.