Greenpeace delivers indigenous leader’s video appeal to Tesco’s Welwyn Garden City-based HQ

PUBLISHED: 06:58 10 September 2020

Greenpeace activists unveil a video outside Tesco's HQ in Welwyn City. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists unveil a video outside Tesco's HQ in Welwyn City. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

© Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists delivered a video appeal sent by an indigenous leader from the Amazon to the doorstep of Tesco’s HQ in Welwyn Garden City.

Greenpeace activists rebrand Tesco's entrance with banners above and beside the doors reading 'Tesco - industrial meat destroys forests'. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/GreenpeaceGreenpeace activists rebrand Tesco's entrance with banners above and beside the doors reading 'Tesco - industrial meat destroys forests'. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

The environmental organization played the video, which called on Tesco to ‘drop forest destroyer’ suppliers, on a large screen on Monday.

In the video Sônia Guajajara, executive coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), speaks directly to Tesco.

She talks about the devastation that fires – reported to be the worst for 10 years – and forest destruction are causing to Indigenous People and the environment and asks Tesco: “Which side are you on?”

Sônia Guajajara is also leader of the Guajajara People, one of Brazil’s most numerous indigenous peoples, who live in 11 Indigenous Lands at the eastern margin of the Amazon region.

The 13-metre walkway leading to the office doors that features the chain of destruction - which Tesco is part of according to Greenpeace. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/GreenpeaceThe 13-metre walkway leading to the office doors that features the chain of destruction - which Tesco is part of according to Greenpeace. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists delivered the film and rebranded the building’s entrance with banners above and beside the doors reading ‘Tesco – industrial meat destroys forests’.

They also placed a 13-metre walkway leading to the office doors that features the ‘chain of destruction’ Tesco is alleged to be part of.

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In her message, Sônia Guajajara said: “Tesco, do you know the impact your business is causing for the indigenous people and the environment here in Brazil?

Tesco buys chicken and pork from two UK companies, Moy Park and Tulip, which are controlled by JBS - one of the world's most notorious forest destroyers according to Greenpeace. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/GreenpeaceTesco buys chicken and pork from two UK companies, Moy Park and Tulip, which are controlled by JBS - one of the world's most notorious forest destroyers according to Greenpeace. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Greenpeace

“The Amazon is burning, the environment is at risk. We need to think about the impact meat consumption has on Indigenous territories and across humanity.

“We want to know if you are willing to fulfil your promise and end business with environmental destroyers and those violating the rights of the Indigenous People.

“Bolsonaro’s government is leading a genocide and a completely destructive agenda. If you support Bolsonaro, you are complicit with this genocide. Which side are you on?”

Tesco buys chicken and pork from two UK companies, Moy Park and Tulip, which are controlled by JBS – who Greenpeace say are one of the world’s most notorious forest destroyers.

Greenpeace activists rebrand Tesco's entrance with banners above and beside the doors reading. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe / GreenpeaceGreenpeace activists rebrand Tesco's entrance with banners above and beside the doors reading. Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

Greenpeace also say that Tesco sells more meat than any other UK supermarket which makes its soya footprint the largest in the UK – by its own admission 99% of the soya in its supply chain is used as feed to produce meat and dairy.

Tesco promised to end its part in deforestation for commodities like soya by 2020 but in 2018 it changed that goal to 2025.

Rather than ensuring the soya it uses is not linked to deforestation, it uses an online calculator to estimate the amount of soya it has used, then buys the equivalent amount of credits to offset it.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We share Greenpeace’s aim to end deforestation in the Amazon. It’s why we’ve set challenging public targets committing to zero deforestation, why we don’t sell Brazilian beef and why we support action to ensure all food sold in the UK is deforestation-free. We are engaging with Greenpeace and will continue to play our part.”


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