British supermarkets allegedly complicit in deforestation of Brazilian rainforest

Allegedly, British supermarkets are complicit in the deforestation of Brazilian rainforest because some of their supply chain products are linked with Brazilian mega-farms which destroy rainforest. And, their guilt appears to be silently admitted because some refuse to confirm or deny any links with the companys implicated in deforestation.

A campaign group, Mighty Earth, has claimed that the soy livestock feed which is used to feed chickens, pigs and cows supplying the top five supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi, has come from a company which has been allegedly linked with the destruction of 151,380 acres of Brazilian rainforest over a period of eighteen months.

Deforestation Brazil

Deforestation Brazil. Photo: Getty Images.

That company has been named as the US agribusiness group called Cargill. Mighty Earth rank this business as the worst-performing exporter in terms of deforestation and land clearances. It is said that 70% of soy exported to supermarkets comes from Cargill.

The soy is grown mainly in the Cerrado and Amazon regions of Brazil. Cerrado is home to 5% of the planet’s biodiversity and so the destruction of the rainforest in this area to raise cattle and produce soy threatens 480 plant and animal species which are expected to become extinct by 2050.

The soy that is exported by this business is crushed at a mill in Seaforth near Liverpool. It is sold as soy meal for animal feed and the meat thus produced is sold to supermarkets often in the form of own-brand chicken dairy and pork.

Tesco confirmed that Cargill was a soy trader in its chain of supplies. They also said that they had sourced it from Bunge, a business also accused of being linked with deforestation in Brazil. The company says that it is committed to a deforestation-free supply chain.

Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Aldi declined to confirm or deny their links with deforestation.

Sainsbury’s said that they were committed to playing their part and “aim to only source soy from sustainable sources by 2025”. While Asda said that they were “working on a plan to ensure that by 2025 all of our soya is physically certified”.

Aldi said that they were committed to sourcing “sustainable soy and had met with Mighty Earth recently to update them”. Morrisons did not respond to a request to comment by The Times journalist.

As for Cargill they said that they “will not supply soy from farmers who clear land illegally or in protected areas, and we have the same expectation of our suppliers. We agree progress on the ground to address deforestation in South America must be accelerated.”