Dunkin, formerly known as "Dunkin Donuts," is primarily a quick-service beverage company, having rebranded itself in 2019. As a company, about sixty percent of its revenue, which comes out to a little more than a billion dollars in a year, is achieved from selling beverages that include coffees, teas, and smoothies. In fact, it sells whole beans and ground coffee at its many stores, both online and offline. Seeing how much coffee is being sold by Dunkin, a question that naturally comes to mind is, "How do they get all that coffee?" and "Is the coffee ethically sourced?"
"Ethically sourced" coffee has no formal definitions, but a general consensus seems to be that all producers in the coffee supply chain get paid a fair share of the final product. While the Specialty Coffee Association deals primarily with the quality of coffee because it produces such a high premium on the quality, and by extension the producer, going so far as to pay a premium price for it, it indirectly ensures the producers and stakeholders get paid their fair share.
Dunkin was the first national brand to sell fair trade certified espresso beverages, all the way back in 2004. It partnered with Fair Trade USA, the only independent certifier of fair trade products in the U.S at the time. Since then, Dunkin has bought up to 26 million pounds of fair trade certified coffee up to 2011, as per their latest available press releases.
There have also been reports that while Dunkin purchases a lot of fair trade certified coffee beans for their espresso-based drinks, these drinks make up less than 10% of their overall sales. For the rest of the whole bean and ground coffee, their primary suppliers seem to be Sara Lee and Procter and Gamble, as late as 2012. Both of these coffee corporations have scored extremely low for their labor practices, ethics, health and safety on coffee farms, and environmental practices. Starbucks and Kraft score higher; the only company below them is Nestle.
So unless you're specifically going in for an espresso-based coffee, chances are the coffee won't be acquired as per fair trade certification. Even if the coffee is fair trade certified, many criticisms are leveled at the Fair Trade NGO for not following their standards rigorously.
Not monitoring how much money is actually paid back to the developing world and how much of the extra premium paid for the coffee to the export house actually reaches the farmers. Fairtrade Label Organizations themselves present figures that a majority of the money reaching the developing world, only forty percent is used in the coffee production business, which involves money for marketing and management, with the rest being spent on social projects as opposed to giving it to the farmers.
Thus in no way, shape or form is Dunkin providing ethically sourced coffee, worst case scenario it's obtaining its coffee from corporations using child labor in the developing world, best-case scenario, it's buying more expensive coffee from fairtrade™ cooperatives who don't pass the excess cost onto the farmer. Stick to Starbucks if you want to buy slightly less exploitative coffee or your local SCA-approved coffee house because they'll at least pay your coffee supplier the money he's worth.