An online petition targeting the use of palm oil by Tunnock’s, the family owned Scottish baker, has attracted nearly 3,500 signatures since it was launched 11 days ago.

Pressure group 38 Degrees is behind the petition which urges Tunnock’s to “Stop using palm oil in your products, or commit to using ‘identity preserved’ certified palm oil which does not come from deforestation plantations and prove it on your packaging”.

In its petition 38 Degrees says Tunnock’s is a well-known brand, and for this reason it could become a leader in the biscuit industry over environmental issues.

It asserts that using uncertified palm oil in biscuits is contributing to the destruction of rainforests and the near extinction of orangutans and Sumatran tigers, threatens the homes of indigenous people, and the carbon dioxide released contributes to global warming.

It adds: “Enjoying a Tunnock’s Tea Cake should not reflect such monstrosities.”

Tunnock’s was contacted by British Baker but said it did not wish to comment.