In July, Izilwane-Voices for Biodiversity teamed up with Paula Pebsworth, a primatologist, to campaign against the use of palm oil in making pastries. Paula has garnered immense support in her campaigns. One of the campaigns focuses on filing a petition seeking to stop Starbucks from selling pastries that contain palm oil. A justification behind such a campaign is that more than 50 orangutans have died because of palm oil production that results in deforestation. Most of the palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia, where about fifty percent of palm oil plantations have replaced original forests.
On an hourly basis, an area of about 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared so that palm oil can be produced. This is often done in mono-cropping form. Some palm oil producers have made attempts to shift towards sustainable farming. Some companies have also moved to using sustainable sources of palm oil. Despite such efforts, World Wildlife Fund has maintained that consumers are only buying half of sustainably-generated palm oil. With such remarkable goods’ surplus, it is not clear as to why Starbucks is still using unsustainable palm oil sources in its pastries.
Activists have called upon Starbucks to change their recipes and avoid using palm oil in baking their pastries. At the very least, the company should utilize sustainable sources of palm oil. Destruction of rainforest is catastrophic for animals, indigenous people, plants, elephants and orangutans. All those who want their voices to be heard have been asked to consider signing a petition that would ask the coffee company to make a sound decision. If the petition goes through, Starbucks will either stop using palm oil in their pastries or opt for sustainable sources.