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:
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!