January 17, 2022
Report claims Cargill still sources soy, corn from farm linked to Amazon deforestation
Cargill is still buying soy and corn from a farm linked to deforestation in the Amazon, despite having pledged to clean up its global supply chains, according to an investigate report.
The company, which sells feed to UK chicken farms, buys crops from a farm growing soybeans on deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon.
An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Greenpeace Unearthed, Repórter Brasil and Ecostorm uncovered Cargill's links with the Brazilian supplier farm, Fazenda Conquista.
The farm in the Brazilian Amazon was responsible for eight square kilometers of deforestation since 2013, with multiple forest fires recorded in 2020. Its trading with Cargill includes supplying soy, and the farm has signed a deal to deliver 5,700 tonnes of corn to the company this year. It is not known whether the crops in question were grown on a recently deforested part of the farm.
The findings raise questions about Cargill's due diligence process. The company has pledged not to buy soy beans from land deforested in the Amazon after 2008, and last year committed to moving faster to eliminate "commodity-driven deforestation".
Cargill exports thousands of tonnes of Brazilian soy to the United Kingdom each year for use in animal feed. Campaigners said the findings highlighted the hidden environmental costs of cheap meat.
"Meat chickens are the most intensively farmed animals in the UK with over a billion slaughtered each year," Lindsay Duncan, the campaigns manager at World Animal Protection UK, said. "The growing demand for cheap chicken leads to the growing demand for soy, causing large-scale deforestation and devastating environmental degradation, which destroys the natural habitats of millions of wild animals."
As much as 80% of all soy grown across the world is fed to livestock. The UK imported about 3.5 million tonnes of soy beans in 2019, with roughly half of that ending up in chicken feed.
About a quarter of the UK's imported soy comes from Brazil, and the vast majority of that is traded by Cargill.
- The Guardian