Starbucks under fire on palm oil

ALMOST 280,000 people have signed a petition calling for coffee chain Starbucks to use more sustainable palm oil.

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“What’s most remarkable about Starbucks’ lack of progress on palm oil is that it’s in stark contrast to the company’s work on coffee,” said campaign group SumofUs.


Whilst Starbucks claims that 99% of its coffee is now “ethically sourced”, it’s unclear whether the high street chain will get anywhere near that for palm oil, which it uses in a range of foods.


In 2013, again under pressure from campaigners, Starbucks committed to buy 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) by this year.


However, the campaigners said no data has been reported to the RSPO. They also suggested RSPO is not the “gold standard” the company should be aiming for. The certification scheme has been criticised for not ensuring the crops are “deforestation-free”, which has led to some companies putting in place their own initiatives.


Many of the big food brands have 2015 commitments relating to the sourcing of certified sustainable palm oil, and they will be held to account on those in WWF’s palm oil scorecard next year.