UK meat processors and food groups threaten Brazil boycott

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Meat processors in the UK have signed an open letter calling for Brazil to halt a damaging proposal for the Amazon rainfroest
Meat processors in the UK have signed an open letter calling for Brazil to halt a damaging proposal for the Amazon rainfroest

Related tags Meat & Seafood

UK meat processors and other food industry groups have publicly opposed proposals by the Brazilian government that they argue threaten the Amazon rainforest, warning they would consider boycotting Brazilian agricultural commodities if the plans proceed.

In an open letter sent to politicians in Brazil, members from across the food and drink industry urged them to drop the relevant legislative proposal PL 510/21.

Signatories included meat processors Cranswick, Winterbotham Darby and Moy Park, the British Retail Consortium and Red Tractor Assurance – a full list can be found below.

The proposal would free up public land to private occupation, a plan that was attempted last year but abandoned after an international backlash. Should it go through, critics claim it would lead to accelerated deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

‘Inadequate targets’

In the open letter, the signatories claimed the measures were counter to the narrative and rhetoric seen internationally from Brazil. It also highlighted the ‘increasingly inadequate’ targets from the Brazilian government to counter deforestation and the budgets available to deliver them.

“The existing protections and land designations enshrined in Brazilian legislation have been instrumental in our organisations having trust that our products, services, investments and business relationships in Brazil are aligned with the commitments we hold as environmentally and socially responsible enterprises, and that our customers and stakeholders expect of us,” ​read the letter.

Willing partners

“Our door remains open to work with Brazilian partners on supporting the development of sustainable land management and agriculture.

“We are willing partners to enable this in a way that supports economic development whilst upholding the rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities.”

The letter urged the Brazilian government to support these goals without putting at risk the progress that Brazil has made so far in protecting the vital ecosystems that are essential for the health of the world.

“However, if this or other measures that undermine these existing protections become law, we will have no choice but to reconsider our support and use of the Brazilian agricultural commodity supply chain,” ​the letter added.  “We urge the Brazilian government to reconsider its proposal.”

Meanwhile, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Tate & Lyle and Greencore were just some of the food processors announcing environmental initiatives before or during Earth Day 2021 on 22 April.

Letter signatories

  • Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC)
  • Ahold Delhaize
  • ALDI Einkauf SE & Co. oHG
  • ALDI SOUTH Group
  • AP7 (Sjunde AP-fonden)
  • Aquascot Ltd.
  • Asda Stores Ltd.
  • The Big Prawn Company
  • British Retail Consortium
  • Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
  • Co-op Switzerland
  • The Co-operative Group
  • Cranswick plc
  • Donau Soja
  • EdenTree Investment Management
  • Greggs plc
  • Hilton Food Group
  • Iceland Foods
  • KLP Kapitalforvaltning AS
  • Legal & General Investment Management
  • Lidl Stiftung
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Migros
  • Moy Park
  • National Pig Association
  • New England Seafood International (NESI)
  • Pilgrim’s UK
  • ProTerra Foundation
  • Red Tractor Assurance
  • Retail Soy Group
  • J Sainsbury Plc
  • Skandia
  • Swedbank Robur Fonder AB
  • Tesco PLC
  • Waitrose & Partners
  • Winterbotham Darby
  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc
  • Woolworths Group

Related topics Supply Chain

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1 comment

Better late than never

Posted by Chris,

Our retail industry should have done this years ago, however, it's good that they are finally talking about this. That said, it is just talk & I would prefer it if they took some positive action now & stopped sourcing from Brazil until they make some positive changes.

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