Britain’s leading supermarkets and fast food outlets are selling chicken fed on soya that has been linked to vast deforestation and thousands of fires across a vital region of tropical woodland in Brazil, an investigation has revealed.
Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Nando’s, and McDonald’s source chicken produced in the UK by the agribusiness giant Cargill – America’s second biggest private company. It is estimated that Cargill ships more than 100,000 tonnes of soybeans to the UK every year from Brazil’s threatened Cerrado savannah.
Though less well known than the Amazon rainforest to its north, the Cerrado is an enormous natural biome, covering two million sq km of land. It is a major habitat for wildlife – home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species – and a critical region for tackling climate change. It is also under increasing threat from industrial food production.
An investigation by Unearthed and a coalition of reporting partners has revealed the complex supply chains that bring this soya to the UK – much of it from the deforestation hotspot of the Cerrado, where allegations of land-grabbing, violence, and deforestation have been rife.
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