For its U.S. supply chain, Dunkin’ Donuts circled a compliance deadline of the end of 2016, and will announce a timeline for its international supply chain by March 2015.

Palm oil is a $50bn-a-year commodity, but traditional palm oil plantations have driven widespread destruction of tropical rainforests – pushing wildlife like Sumatran tigers and orang-utans to the edge of extinction, and contributing to climate change.

Welcoming the announcement, Forest Heroes campaign director Deborah Lapidus said: “Dunkin’s action today is helping drive the global momentum towards a second green revolution in which food is produced without threatening forests.

“There’s no excuse for other doughnut companies like Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton’s to continue frying their doughnuts in palm oil that’s threatening orangutans and tigers with extinction.”

‘Don’t stop there’

The switch to sustainable palm oil follows pressure from investors and an eye-opening report by Forest Heroes called which analysed the use of palm oil in the doughnut industry.

“Dunkin’ Donuts has taken a major step toward being a Forest Hero,” said Lapidus. “Now, it must immediately start working with suppliers on implementation, and quickly adopt a compliance timeline for its international business. And, as an enormous buyer of coffee and sugar, it should expand its policy to cover all of the forest commodities in its products.”

Today, over 60 percent of the global palm oil trade is covered by zero deforestation policies. Dunkin’ joins a growing number of consumer brands that have adopted responsible palm oil sourcing commitments, including McDonalds, Danone, Nestlé, Kellogg’s, Mars and many others.

Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first UK store in January, and the company has targeted 1000 British stores in the next 20 years.

Brad Allen

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