An environmental group has declared that Tim Hortons, a Canada-based multinational purveyor of doughnuts, is destroying Southeast Asian rainforests by refusing to pledge to use sustainable palm oil — instead of palm oil from Big Palm — in its delicious, fried dough confections.
The group is SumOfUs, which describes itself as “a movement of consumers, workers and shareholders speaking with one voice to counterbalance the growing power of large corporations.”
In an Internet petition, SumOfUs warns that doughnuts sold by Tim Hortons “are pushing orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and countless other species to the brink of extinction” because of the palm oil they contain.
In response to criticism from environmental groups, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts, two of the biggest competitors Tim Hortons faces in the worldwide doughnut industry, have already agreed to use only palm oil that doesn’t cause deforestation.
Krispy Kreme suffered the most. In recent months, a handful of activists showed up during the early morning doughnut rush at Krispy Kreme store openings around the United States wearing tigers suits and clutching signs warning of environmental devastation unless the company mended its palm oil ways.
“Tim Hortons is lagging behind as the palm oil industry is taking a massive shift towards true sustainability,” said SumOfUs spokeswoman Liz McDowell in a statement obtained by The Daily Caller. “Because of public demand from hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including SumOfUs members, many large companies — like Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Kellogg’s — have committed to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains.”
Deborah Lapidus, a spokeswoman for the Forest Heroes Campaign, also weighed in.
“The one-two punch of Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme going deforestation-free” signals “a rapid shift in the U.S. fast food industry” Lapidus said.
“If Americans can eat deforestation-free doughnuts, what is Tim Hortons waiting for, eh?” added Kevin Grandia, Forest Heroes Canada campaign coordinator.
As the SumOfUs petition notes in an update, however, a just-proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Tim Hortons by Burger King, the global hamburger company, has complicated efforts to convince Tim Hortons to stop using certain palm oil.
SumOfUs describes Burger King as “a mega-corporation with an appalling record of using tiger-killing palm oil.”
“If BK gets its way, Tim Hortons may never agree to source sustainable palm oil,” the petition warns. “But if enough of us come together now we can convince Tim Hortons to commit to strong palm oil policies while the ink on the merger deal is still drying.”
As of Friday, 79,128 people have signed the SumOfUs petition.