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article imageOp-Ed: Canadians call on Tim Hortons to protect rainforests

By Tim Sandle     Dec 25, 2014 in Environment
Toronto - To increase pressure on the Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons over its unsustainable palm oil use, hundreds of Canadians have joined a photo campaign by corporate accountability group SumOfUs.
The campaign calls on the national coffee chain company to protect endangered Sumatran tigers and, at the same time, to adopt a deforestation-free palm oil policy. The campaign is publicity heavy and it is centered around a photo drive. The photo campaign features Canadian citizens, families, children and pets, with the central message calling on Tim Hortons to “Stand Up for Tigers.”
The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is a rare tiger subspecies that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It was classified as critically endangered by IUCN in 2008 as the population was estimated at 441 to 679 individuals.
The current campaign was triggered when over 80,000 Canadians signed a petition written by SumOfUs urging Tim Hortons to help protect Southeast Asian rainforests and pledge to use only sustainable palm oil in their donuts. Furthermore, greater than half a million people worldwide have signed similar petitions calling upon other major corporations to source only sustainable palm oil.
Tim Hortons is a Canadian multinational fast casual restaurant known for its coffee and doughnuts. It is also Canada's largest quick service restaurant chain.
Earlier this year, after being challenged by variouscampaigning groups, Tim Hortons publicly recognized that deforestation caused by unsustainable palm oil is a big problem, according to SumOfAll. Nonetheless, the chain doe snot appear wiling to change its “no questions asked” approach to sourcing from suppliers like IOI Loders Croklaan. These suppliers allegedly sell palm oil from burnt down forests, wrecked peatlands and flattened forests, which could be home to higher numbers of Sumatran tigers and orangutans. To date, Tim Hortons has released a short statement committing to source sustainable palm oil but with no plan as to how this will happen.
The campaign group SumofUs also has its target set on the food company Dortios and its parent company PepsiCo.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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