On Thursday night, stencilled messages, revealing that ‘Tesco meat = deforestation’ appeared outside the supermarket’s branches in Hailsham, as part of an escalating nationwide protest before the supermarket chain’s Annual General Meeting.
Delegates arriving for Tesco’s Annual General Meeting were greeted by activists holding giant letters spelling out the words ‘FOREST CRIME’ 10 metres wide at Tesco’s Welwyn Garden City headquarters this morning.
Thousands of personal, passionate and urgent pleas from Tesco customers for the supermarket to end its part in deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and other areas of Brazil were handwritten on the 1.5 metre high letters. Two activists also read messages through loud hailers outside the meeting. In total 10,000 messages – many threatening a boycott of the supermarket if action wasn’t taken – were received by Greenpeace and delivered to Tesco as part of the peaceful direct action. A further 250,000 people have signed a petition calling on Tesco to drop forest destroyers.
Throughout May and June, Greenpeace volunteers also left stencilled messages outside more than 270 stores. More stores will be targeted with a series of peaceful direct actions over the coming months calling out Tesco’s role in deforestation and fires across Brazil to cut through the supermarket’s greenwash.
Rob said ‘“When you buy a chicken from Tesco Hailsham, it won’t mention the forest crime that took place to produce it. Tesco’s chicken supplier is owned by a company notorious for destroying the Amazon rainforest. And Tesco’s chicken is reared on soya that’s driving deforestation and fires across Brazil.
“Indigenous Peoples are facing an assault on their rights as forests like the Amazon are being slashed and deliberately burned for industrial meat production. It’s killing wildlife, the risk of future pandemics is increasing and it’s playing havoc with the climate.
“10,000 shoppers have sent personal pleas for Tesco to drop forest destroyers from its supply chain – many threatening a boycott if it doesn’t. Tesco can’t afford to ignore them and we won’t stop campaigning until Tesco stops greenwashing and takes action.”
Despite Tesco claiming to have met its deforestation targets, its meat is not deforestation-free. It buys British chicken and pork from suppliers owned by notorious rainforest-destroyer, JBS. JBS recently admitted it would accept deforestation in its supply chain for another 14 years. And Tesco continues to sell more soya-fed, factory-farmed meat than any other UK supermarket. It has already failed to keep its promise of zero-deforestation by 2020 and its plans to buy soya ‘only from deforestation-free areas’ by 2025 are meaningless given the complete collapse in 2019 of talks involving traders like Cargill to agree protection for whole areas from soya.
Rob continued ‘Are we really willing to let Tesco get away with such blatant greenwash when doing a weekly shop? Join us to take part in the protest from home by calling Tesco’s head office to demand it stops greenwashing and drops forest destroyers from its supply chain.’
People who would like to take action at their local Tesco store can also apply for a free action pack at act.gp/tesco-pack to receive a whole host of resources to help them get Tesco’s attention.