Even Peet’s Coffee Uses Palm Oil – Damn!

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I don’t drink coffee.  Ever.  Almost never.  I tried it again recently and hated it again.  Ever since I was a kid, I just never liked the taste and instead reach for rainforest friendly PG Tips English black tea (it says “Rainforest Alliance Certified” right on the label).  But I try to get friends to at least not give Starbucks too much freaking business; I mean there’s like three stores on every corner.  It’s the behemoth of the coffee industry and I’m always pulling for the underdog (unless they’re playing against UCLA).  So why not go someplace, well, more humble?

I suggested Peet’s Coffee to a friend.  They’re not everywhere, but now that I live in Northern California they’re a little more common than back in San Diego.  It was started in Berkeley, CA back in the mid-1960s, so it’s gotta have some cool, pro-environment, leftist leanings, yes?

Well, not so much.  When I went to the store recently to buy a coffee for a friend I noticed to my great chagrin that palm oil is prominently placed in some of their  Peet’s branded products.  So I wrote them my usual “death and destruction” email.

Here’s their response:

Dear Xxxx,

Thank you for your email. The palm oils used by Marich and by Guittard in the making of the coatings we use for various products including the cherries in particular are certified sustainably sourced. The source is Malaysia and both Marich and Guittard buy palm oils that are certified sustainably sourced by RSPO. Also, Marich is becoming Fair Trade certified by Fair Trade USA and will begin to place this on our branded packaged products in 2016.

I hope this information helps and please let me know if i can be of any further assistance.

Best,

Dxxxxxx | Customer Service Specialist | Peet’s Coffee & Tea | Mon-Fri 6am-6pm PST | 800.999.2132

I wrote them back, telling them to not get too excited as your company hides behind what is most probably Mass Balance or “Green Certificates” certified palm oil.  As explained previously, this scheme is STILL propping-up unsustainable palm oil that is OFFSET by this imperfect Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification.

I’ll update when I get an answer.  Let’s see what this coffeehouse — founded in the birthplace of the 60s Free Speech Movement and college radicalism, in general — responds.  NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!

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