How British chicken is destroying the Amazon

Chicken sold in British supermarkets has been attached to deforestation in Amazona new study has found.

The investigation alleges that suppliers of corn and soybeans are used to feed chickens produced by the American food processing company JBS – the world’s largest meat company – is associated with cleared areas in the Amazon and Cerrado.

JBS exports Brazilian beef, pork and chicken to companies worldwide, including Europe, China and the Middle East.

The UK has imported at least US$500m (£444m) of Seara products – a subsidiary of JBS – over the past three years to wholesalers, food service and processors supplying supermarkets, schoolshospitals and nursing homes.

Seara chicken, which produces more than five million birds a day from its Brazilian poultry farms, supplies some of the world’s largest supermarkets and fast food chains.

The joint investigation at Reporter Brazil and Ecostormpublished on Thursday, states that it is the first time that chicken produced in Brazil and exported to the UK has been linked to deforestation.

“This investigation shows that the procurement procedures used have blind spots and still cannot fully prevent grain laundering mechanisms,” it said.

In response, JBS told Reporter Brazil that it requires its grain suppliers to meet high standards and be signatories to the soy moratorium, which bans the sale of soy grown on land cleared after 2008.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in the first half of 2022 broke all recordsand was 80 percent greater than the same period in 2018, the year before the president Jair Bolsonaro joined. This is according to analysis by the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, or IPAM, a Brazilian nonprofit organization.

According to IPAM, about half of the felling occurred on public land, alongside illegal property and timber transactions and a lack of enforcement.

Ane Alencar, IPAM’s scientific director, said: “Those who control the Amazon do not want it preserved. The standing forest has no value in today’s Amazon.”

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