Protesters call for action over deforestation outside Hereford chicken factory
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have staged a protest outside poultry giant Avara Foods’ factory in Hereford over deforestation in Brazil. A recent investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Greenpeace UK’s Unearthed tracked soya beans transported from suppliers in Brazil’s Cerrado region, where land is burned to clear it for crops, for chicken feed in the UK. The soya beans in the shipment were processed and fed to chickens reared in the UK by agribusiness Cargill which operates under the Avara Foods banner in Hereford.
The poultry firm sells chicken to companies including Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Nando’s and McDonald’s, the investigation found. The Extinction Rebellion campaigners delivered blackened tree stumps to the site last week which they say symbolizes the Brazilian forests destroyed to plant soya to feed chicken in Herefordshire. Protesters outside Avara Foods in Hereford.
Campaigner Wendy Ogden said it was incredible that children were being taught about the loss of the rainforest while parents are unwittingly feeding them witch chicken whose feed causes the destruction. “On top of this the company concerned is Herefordshire-based. I was really shocked to discover this.”
Bryony John, another campaigner, said theyare calling on Avara Foods and its parent company Cargill to respond positively. “We want to be 100% sure that eating chicken produced by Avara does not cause destruction of Brazilian forests. “Cargill have publicly committed themselves to ‘take action to remedy issues where identified in our supply chains’.
So please Avara and Cargill, clean up your act now” The campaigners say they want to raise public awareness of the supply chain linking destruction of Brazilian forests with local company Avara Foods Ltd and its US parent company Cargill. In the Cerrado region in Brazil, farmers destroy the forest by clearing and burning the trees in order to grow soya.
Cargill buys the soya, then ships it to Liverpool and brings it by truck to its Herefordshire feed mills. The report estimated that Cargill ships more than 100,000 tonnes of soybean to the UK every year from the threatened Cerrado.
Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Nando’s and McDonalds all source chicken from Avara, Cargill’s Herefordshire chicken business. An Extinction Rebellion spokesperson said: “Forests produce oxygen and regulate rainfall and climate patterns around the world. “When forests are cleared, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are released which further heat the planet and accelerate our climate crisis.
“Many local Herefordians will be as shocked as we are to discover that industrial poultry farming in Herefordshire is one of the root causes of Brazilian deforestation. MORE NEWS: “This has to stop.
I’m sure people locally will be horrified to learn that our food production is driving global heating. “Everyone agrees that we must stop destroying the Amazonian rainforest, often described as the ‘lungs of the world’. “There was a worldwide outcry when the Amazon rainforest went up in flames earlier this year.
It’s now clear that the legally unprotected Cerrado forest is facing similar destruction.
“Figures from Aidenvironment reveal that, since 2015, 800 sq km of deforestation has taken place.”
Avara Foods has been approached for comment.