Tesco accused of greenwashing deforestation pledges

Tesco has been accused of greenwashing after selling Brazilian meat despite promising to ban it over deforestation.

The supermarket said it would no longer sell Brazilian beef, chicken or pork after reforming its supply chains to end deforestation of the Amazon.

However, as reported by the Times, campaigners have found Brazilian chicken in Tesco supermarkets.

The campaigners are calling for Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate if the supermarket has made misleading claims and broken the regulators Green Claims Code.

Mighty Earth UK director Gemma Hoskins urged the CMA to take a “close look at what Tesco says it’s doing and what it is actually doing, which in reality appears to be nothing more than greenwashing.”


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A Tesco spokesperson said: “The chicken product outlined is from a small, branded supplier and should not have been listed in our stores.

“We take our commitments extremely seriously, and apologise for this case of genuine error. We have spoken to the supplier who is rectifying it.”

“We will be reminding all our suppliers about our sourcing requirements when it comes to Brazilian meat,” the spokesperson added.

Is Tesco a ‘basket of problems’ for the Amazon?

This isn’t the first time this year Tesco has been targeted by campaigners over deforestation links.

In April, Mighty Earth linked chicken and pork products with illegal fires and the deforestation of 400 hectares of Brazilian rainforest, after looking at satellite images of the Santa Ana farm in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil.

The campaign group said this was the equivalent of more than “560 Wembley football pitches”, and the loss of “more than 220,000 trees”.

A month later, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose announced that their deforestation-free soy initiative delivered its first 42,000 tonnes of verified deforestation and conversion-free soy from Brazil into the supply chain.

At the time, Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said the supermarket has been “driving industry action on tackling deforestation for a number of years.”

“We’ve also made a commitment that by 2025 we will only source soy from whole areas verified as deforestation-free,” he added.

“To help us meet this goal it’s vital we provide practical, financial support to farmers in Brazil committed to the production of zero deforestation soy and the conservation of native vegetation,” Murphy continued.

Food and farmingMarketingNature and the environmentNewsRetail

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