Nothing YUMmy About Amazon Destruction

Feature story - May 18, 2006

KFC really does have a secret recipe - want to know what's in it? Freshly sizzling Amazon Rainforest. That's what goes into the soy that KFC's famous chickens are fed .

KFC is serving up Amazon destruction by the bucket, and selling it in hundreds of restaurants throughout Europe. Today, KFC's Board will meet to review the profits the company has made off of its forest destruction, and our activists in Brazil have a message for them: The Colonel is a partner in Amazon crime.

But KFC is not alone. The fast food giant can trace its soy to a single American company: Cargill.

Cargill owns an illegal export terminal in Santarém, Brazil, that is supplied by farms operating on illegally cleared rainforest land. Almost all of the soy passing through this terminal is destined for Europe.

Greenpeace has uncovered the chain of soy production from its roots in the Amazon to the Cargill terminals and onto corporate giants like KFC and McDonald's. We recently released a report, Eating up the Amazon, following more than two years of investigation.

What’s at Stake?

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world, but it is disappearing at an alarming rate - since the 1970s, an area of rainforest the size of California has been lost. Few people today realize that the greatest threat facing the Amazon is the production of soy.

Soy traders encourage farmers to cut down the rainforest and plant massive soy monocultures. The traders take the soy and ship it to Europe where it is fed to animals like chickens and pigs. The animals are then turned into fast food products.

Three major companies - Cargill, ADM, and Bunge - account for 60 percent of the total financing of soy production in Brazil. By building soy silos and terminals at the rainforest edge and buying soy from illegally-cleared and operated farms - including farms with a documented record of slave labor - these companies are both spurring and profiting from the soy plunder of the Amazon.

The Amazon rainforest is not only one of the richest and most biologically diverse regions on the planet, it is also one of the most threatened. In order to protect this ancient treasure, this unsustainable development needs to stop immediately. We're calling on companies to ensure that their soy comes from legal sources outside the Amazon rainforest, farmed without slave labor and free of genetic engineering.