ITV News at Ten last night reported UK farms are supplying milk and dairy products to consumer and foodservice suppliers, from cattle fed on soya from agribusinesses allegedly contributing to the widespread deforestation in Brazil.
A group of farms, which sell milk to Arla, Mondalez/Cadbury, Saputo, Cathedral City Cheddar, Anchor butter and other manufacturers source some of their animal feed from companies standing accused of buying Brazilian soya exported by the US grain giant Cargill.
The report stems from a joint investigation by Greenpeace Unearthed, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and ITV News that uncovered the complex soya supply chains that link British dairy to environmental devastation thousands of miles away in Brazil’s Amazon and Cerrado regions.
New evidence reveals that Grupo Scheffer, one of Cargill’s Brazilian suppliers, is responsible for multiple incidents of environmental damage, including clearing swathes of tropical forest. A reporting team on the ground in the Cerrado found recent deforestation linked to a soya farmer selling to the Brazilian agribusiness empire.
The investigation also raises questions about Cargill’s sustainable soya certification. The Triple S scheme is hailed by some food companies as an environmentally-friendly option, though it allows deforestation-free soya to be mixed with beans from non-certified sources, which may include farms involved in forest destruction.
British MPs have said the investigation reinforces the need for tough new laws to force firms to tackle deforestation in their supply chains.
Intensive dairy farming, modelled on US industrial milk production systems have sprung up in recent years in Britain. In Cornwall for example, carefully hidden from public view, a vast factory-like complex sprawls across the hillside, its grey roofs a stark contrast to the green of the surrounding fields.
The unit is a giant dairy farm with more than 20 interconnected barns. Milk from the farm is sold to the multinational food company Arla, which makes Anchor butter and supplies supermarket milk in the UK, including to Asda. The cows here are permanently housed all year.
As well as the environmental damage done by this corrosive supply chain, Brazil’s expansion of soya and cattle ranching comes at a deadly cost. Last year, 20 Brazilians were killed while defending the environment, making it the fourth most lethal country in the world for green defenders, according to Global Witness.
The information in the report above was sourced via – Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s award-winning journalism project. The full detail and extent of the problem can be read here, with some rather disturbing imagery and video content.
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Hospitality & Catering News: ITV exposes UK farms supplying foodservice contributing to deforestation in Brazil. – 14 October 2021 – ITV exposes UK farms supplying foodservice contributing to deforestation in Brazil.
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