KFC exposed for trashing the Amazon rainforest for buckets of chicken

Greenpeace accuses fast food giant of Amazon crimes before its Annual Meeting

Press release - 17 May, 2006
Greenpeace volunteers unfurled a 300 square metre banner in a massive area of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest this morning with the words 'KFC - Amazon Criminal' - in advance of Kentucky Fried Chicken's (KFC) Annual General Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky tomorrow.

Greenpeace volunteers displayed a 300 square metre banner on a soya plantation grown in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, accusing fast food company KFC of Amazon crimes. KFC is fuelling the destruction of the Amazon by selling cheap chicken fed on soya grown on deforested Amazon land.

Aerial view in the rainforest, Para State, Amazon. The forest is being burned by the US based Cargill corporation to clear land for soya plantations.

Activists in 2 inflatable boats also protested against US commoditiesgiant Cargill, at its illegal soya export facility in the heart of theAmazon, which supplies KFC with animal feed in Europe. They held up abanner saying 'Cargill Out', as rainforest soya was being prepared forexport. Both protests highlight the fact that KFC is fuelling thedestruction of the Amazon by selling cheap chicken fed on soya grown ondeforested land.

Recent Greenpeace investigations (1) have traced the chain ofrainforest destruction directly from the heart of the Amazon, viaCargill's facility, to KFC's European restaurants (2), which sellbucket-loads of cheap soya-fed chicken to millions of people every day.

"Deforestation, slavery, use of toxic chemicals, land theft, illegalfarming and the extinction of rare species are a recipe for disaster inthe Amazon rainforest, but they are ingredients in KFC's quest forcheap animal feed," said Greenpeace International Forest CampaignCoordinator Gavin Edwards. "Fast food companies like KFC must takeAmazon deforestation off their menu before it is too late for theworld's greatest rainforest."

The Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at an alarming rate and is inurgent need of protection. Since January 2003, nearly 70,000 km2 hasbeen destroyed, equivalent to an area of rainforest the size of 6football pitches every minute. Soya, which is mainly grown to feedanimals, is a leading cause of this destruction. A report last month inNature magazine (3) revealed that 40% of the Amazon will be lost by2050 if current trends in agricultural expansion continue, threateningbio-diversity and massively contributing to climate change.

KFC is part of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world's largest restaurant chainwhich includes Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and other fast foodcompanies. Greenpeace recently wrote to Yum! Brands, Inc. regarding thedestruction of the Amazon, but the company claimed its soya is grown inother parts of Brazil. Yet Greenpeace has traced its supply chain andfound that some comes from facilities that use soya grown in the Amazonrainforest.

Greenpeace is calling on KFC and Cargill to ensure that the animal feedthey buy does not contribute to the destruction of the Amazon and thatnone of their soya products are genetically engineered.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation that usesnon-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmentalproblems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peacefulfuture.

Other contacts: Gavin Edwards, Greenpeace International forests campaign co-ordinator (m) +31 652 391429 (currently in the Amazon) Scott Paul, Greenpeace US Forest Campaign Coordinator. +1 202 319 2469 (in Washington DC) Photos are available from: Franca Michienzi, Greenpeace International Picture Desk, Amsterdam +31 6 53819255 Carol Donnati, Greenpeace Brazil, Sao Paulo. + 55 11 82 726926

Notes: (1) A copy of the "Eating up the Amazon' which documents the problems of soya in the Amazon is available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/eating-up-the-amazon (2) Greenpeace has key evidence including: · US company Cargill, which owns an illegal export terminal at Santarem, is supplied by farms operating on rainforest land that has been illegally cleared for soya production. · Almost all of the soya passing through this terminal is destined for Europe. In 2005 more than 50% went to the Netherlands, 31% went to the UK, Spain received 6.5% & 6% to France. · Industry sources and Greepeace research have identified Cargill soya terminals in Europe, through which Cargill's amazon soya enters the continent, as a source of feed for KFC meat in the UK and Netherlands. (3) Soares-Filho, B.S. et al., 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440:520-523. Published 23rd March 2006.