Deforestation of the Amazon, multinationals with a dirty conscience

Deforestation of the Amazon, multinationals with a dirty conscience

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Deforestation and fires in the Amazon: from Nestlé to Carrefour, these multinationals have a dirty conscience for the damage caused.

The fires are destroying the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. But in this situation, what should major fast food companies like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and even Nestlé and Carrefour do?

About 2.5 million hectares of land were burned in August, according to data published by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Brazilian forest monitoring body. Indigenous peoples accuse Bolsonaro of the current situation, but those responsible for the deforestation and, indirectly, the fires, are not only farmers and ranchers, but also the main fast food chains. Why

Might Earth's New Deforestation Report

The Amazonian ecosystems are decimated by livestock and soy production. McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King buy Brazilian beef and all three chains serve chicken fed a soy-based diet. But they are not only those. According to a new report from the NGO Might Earth, there would be many other companies involved in deforestation, such as JBS, Bunge and Cargill, Stop & Shop, Costco, McDonald’s, Walmart / Asda, Nestle, Burger King and Sysco.

“These companies not only directly finance deforestation, but constantly pressure governments to stop basic environmental protections. No one doing business with Cargill and JBS can seriously say that they are concerned about deforestation, ”explains Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Might Earth.

To get an overview of the situation, reported on several occasions by Greenpeace, it is important to remember that:

  • McDonald’s is Cargill’s largest customer, serving Brazilian beef and soy-fed chicken.
  • Burger King follows the exact same policy.
  • Nestlé, which for years has been making public commitments against deforestation, in fact no longer buys palm oil, but uses soybeans and buys food for Cargill.
  • As for Carrefour, the French company is one of the largest supermarket chains in the world and buys Cargill and JBS. Carrefour has pledged not to use products that increase deforestation starting in 2020, but the rule does not apply to processed or frozen products. “KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King are among the biggest names in fast food. Its restaurants are found all over the world. If these fast food companies declare against the destruction of the forest and change direction, the whole industry could change. " says Greenpeace.

In general, national and international demand for beef fueled the rapid expansion of the Amazonian livestock industry. From 1993 to 2013, cattle in the Amazon grew by almost 200%, reaching 60 million head.

“Five years ago, companies like Cargill, Unilever, and Yum Brands were on the stage at the New York Climate Summit and proclaimed their commitment to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. The same thing happened at the Forum on Goods from Consumption, whose members include Walmart, Mars and Danone. Everyone still has to keep that commitment. These companies must take responsibility for the impacts of their products, as well as eliminate the economic incentives that promote this dangerous environmental destruction ", writes the NGO.

Article in Portuguese

Video: Greenwashing global logging. DW Documentary (May 2022).