UK High Street brands driving Amazon destruction for beef and leather
New report reveals suppliers to Clarks, Tesco and many others linked to illegal deforestation for cattle.
A three-year, undercover investigation by Greenpeace into Brazil’s booming cattle industry has exposed links between some of Britain’s biggest brands and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Cattle ranching in the Amazon region is now the single biggest cause of deforestation in the world, and the expansion of this industry is being driven by the global export market.
The report also reveals how the Brazilian government has offered billions of dollars in loans to support the expansion of the cattle industry, despite its massive environmental impact. This investment severely undermines Brazil’s claims to be reducing deforestation, and jeopardises international efforts to protect the Amazon.
The new Greenpeace report, entitled Slaughtering the Amazon, tracks beef and leather products on their journey from farms involved in illegal deforestation and in some cases slavery, via giant processing facilities to the supply chains of global brands such as, Tesco, Adidas / Reebok, Nike, Clark’s, BMW, Carrefour, Ford, Honda, Gucci, IKEA, Kraft, and Wal-Mart.
Reacting to the report, Greenpeace forest campaigner Sarah Shoraka said: “Running shoes, handbags and ready meals aren’t normally associated with rainforest destruction and climate change, but we’ve found a smoking gun. This new evidence shows how UK companies are driving the destruction of the Amazon by buying beef and leather products from unscrupulous suppliers in Brazil. These products are ending up on our shelves.”
Shoraka continued: “The cattle industry is the single biggest cause of deforestation in the world and is a disaster for the fight against climate change. Big companies must take a stand and stop doing business with the worst offenders immediately.”
Greenpeace is calling on President Lula to introduce an immediate moratorium on further deforestation for cattle ranching, and to commit to zero deforestation in the Amazon by 2015. UK companies should immediately stop purchasing from Brazilian suppliers who refuse to commit to cleaning up their supply chains and must support a moratorium on all deforestation for cattle ranching.