A small soy plant was destroying the world's largest rainforest.
How? Soy traders were burning down the Amazon to clear room for a
vast industry of soy production that was feeding into the fast food
industry in Europe. That's right, nuggets of Amazon forest were
being served up on a platter at McDonald's restaurants throughout
That was yesterday. Today, McDonald's has agreed to stop selling
chicken fed on soya grown in newly deforested areas of the Amazon
Soy key driver of Amazon destruction
In recent years, the seemingly unstoppable expansion of soy
farming in the Amazon had become one of the main threats to the
Amazon rainforest. The soy wasn't being used to feed the world;
instead it was used to feed farm animals destined for fast food and
supermarket chains across Europe.
In April we launched our campaign exposing the food retailer's
role in rainforest destruction. Our report, Eating Up the Amazon,
detailed how McDonald's and other companies were implicated in
deforestation, land-grabbing, slavery and violence. Since then
there has been a sea change in attitude among the food industry
towards the problem.
The result is that McDonald's and other big food retailers have
worked with us to develop a zero deforestation plan. The plan will
also help bring an end to the land-grabbing and social injustice
that is rife in the Amazon.
Pressure for change
By committing to the plan, the companies' massive buying power
has created a huge demand for soy that hasn't been grown in the
ashes of the rainforest. This put pressure on the 'big five' soy
traders - Cargill, ADM, Bunge, Dreyfus and Amaggi to come to the
negotiating table with the future of large areas of the Amazon
rainforest at stake.
In response to the pressure, the soy traders have only committed
to a limited two year moratorium of buying soy from deforested
areas. The two-year time frame of the soy traders moratorium risks
being no more than a token gesture, unless the traders deliver real
change to protect the Amazon.
Greenpeace is demanding that the moratorium stays until proper
procedures for legality and governance are in place and until there
is an agreement with the Brazilian Government and key stakeholders
on long term protection for the Amazon rainforest. A working group
will be established, made up of soy traders, producers, NGOs, and
government to put in place an action plan.
Karen Van Bergen, Vice President of McDonald's Europe said,
"When we were first alerted to this issue by Greenpeace, we
immediately reached out to our suppliers, other NGOs and other
companies to resolve this issue and take action. We are determined
to do the right thing together with our suppliers and the Brazilian
government, to protect the Amazon from further destruction. The
two-year time frame set for the initiative is, we hope, indicative
of the sense of urgency with which the soy traders wish to
implement the governance program and all of its conditions. We
expect that should some of the measures take longer than the stated
two years to implement, the moratorium would remain in existence
until all commitments have been fulfilled."
There are some companies, however, who refuse to play ball.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), have point-blank refused to discuss
their role in Amazon destruction and so we need to show them how
isolated they're becoming.
Tell the Colonel that if Ronald McDonald can help protect the Amazon, so can he.