Forest the size of Peru has been chopped down since 2010 to grow food

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Soya bean plantation San Paolo

A forest size of Peru has been chopped down since 2010 in order to feed people across the planet. Forests have been chopped down to create plantations to supply food to the world’s leading food companies.

Soya bean plantation San Paolo, Brazil
Soya bean plantation San Paolo, Brazil. Photo in public domain.

The rate of deforestation has increased since 2016. It appears that promises made by the big food companies such as Nestlé have not been kept. They promised to end deforestation by 2020. The worst affected areas are Brazil, African countries in the Congo Basin and Indonesia.

Vast areas have been cleared to create palm oil and soya bean plantations and also for grazing cattle.

Greenpeace reported on this massive deforestation by examining satellite mapping data from NASA. They calculated the area of forest loss since 2010 would exceed 50 million hectares by the end of 2019.

In Brazil, areas planted with soya have increased by 45% in nine years. Soya is normally used to feed animals. In Indonesia palm oil production has increased by 75% over the same period.

Palm oil is used in many products including chocolate. In the Ivory Coast, deforestation creates land to grow cocoa where production has increased by 80% over the same period.

Greenpeace has asked the food companies to demonstrate that they are making progress in ending deforestation. They want them to disclose their commodity suppliers. Anna Jones of Greenpeace UK said that the companies were:

“Destroying our children’s future….They should be in crisis talks but they’re still trying to grow demand for products that will drive forest destruction even further.”

Nestlé said:

“We agree consumer goods companies, suppliers and governments all need to do more to tackle deforestation.”

Mondelez which owns Cadbury said that they are working to secure sustainable supplies of key raw materials.

However, it appears that these companies are not prepared to demonstrate that they are prepared to turn words into deeds.

Source: The Times.