Renewable commodity chemicals can be generated from plant materials. Often abundant materials such as sugars are used for this purpose. However, these lack appropriate functionalities and, therefore, they require extensive chemical modifications before they can be used as commodity chemicals. The plant kingdom is capable of producing an almost endless variety of compounds, including compounds with highly appropriate functionalities, but these are often not available in high quantities. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to produce functionalized plant compounds on a large scale by fermentation in microorganisms. This opens up the potential to exploit plant compounds that are less abundant, but functionally resemble commodity chemicals more closely. To elaborate this concept, we demonstrate the suitability of a highly functionalized plant compound, methyl perillate, as a precursor for the commodity chemical terephthalic acid.