The production of chicken to be sold in UK supermarkets, restaurants and fast-food chains is destroying wildlife-rich forests in South America, Greenpeace investigators claim.
Swathes of forest are bulldozed each year to grow soya, which is used to feed poultry in the UK and the rest of the world, a report by the charity says. The land used partly includes the world’s most biodiverse savannah, the Brazilian Cerrado.
South America’s forests are home to rare wildlife species and are a major absorber of damaging greenhouse gases, so eradicating the trees accelerates the climate and biodiversity crises.
But in failing to monitor where their animal-feed crops come from, Britain’s high-street brands are “contributing to the deforestation“ – some of which is illegal, it’s claimed.
Consumers swapping red meat for chicken and other poultry are also fuelling the demand, and supermarkets and fast-food chains are pushing up sales with special offers on chicken, according to the study.