A campaign group is calling on Starbucks to adopt deforestation-free sourcing in all its products.
SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog, has created an online video advertising campaign, which it says highlights flaws in Starbucks' palm oil policy.
The adverts claim while Starbucks coffee is sustainably sourced and produced, palm oil found in baked goods is linked to deforestation.
SumOfUs said that the majority of the palm oil comes from plantations built on clear-cut rainforests in Southeast Asia where workers, and sometimes children, are trapped in modern slavery to cultivate the vegetable oil. It claimed clearing rainforests and peatlands for the plantations is also endangering species such as the orangutan and Sumatran tiger.
“While other industry giants such as McDonald's, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme have committed to cutting conflict palm oil from their supply chains, Starbucks executives have delayed action and denied this growing emergency,” said Nicole Carty, US campaigner for SumOfUs.
The campaign group acknowledged Starbucks' work to make sure its coffee was ethically sourced. But Carty added: “Through its Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (CAFE) initiative, Starbucks actually reduced deforestation in its coffee supply chain. Why is it so hard to do the same for palm oil?”
SM is awaiting a response from Starbucks.