Greenpeace spray-paint Tesco in Stroud, Nailsworth and Bussage

Greenpeace activists spray-painted ‘Tesco meat = deforestation’ outside Tesco stores in Stroud, Bussage, Pagenhill and Nailsworth on Friday.

The stencil was the latest part of an ongoing campaign against the supermarket for what Greenpeace allege to be links between the meat sold in Tesco and organisations responsible for deforestation in the Amazon in order to grow soy.

A spokesperson for Tesco told the SNJ they stopped selling Brazilian beef in 2018 due to concerns over deforestation and all their soy suppliers must meet “our environmental and zero deforestation standards.”

An anonymous Greenpeace Stroud volunteer said: ‘‘We’ve given Tesco plenty of time to respond to our demand to drop forest destroyers from their supply chain, and replace half the meat Tesco sells with plant-based food by 2025, but so far they don’t seem to be getting the message that industrial meat is bad for our planet.

“That’s why Greenpeace volunteers decided to give CEO Ken Murphy a friendly reminder that Tesco meat = deforestation outside the Stroud store.”

Late last year, Greenpeace put up posters on Tesco storefronts reading ‘stop selling industrial meat linked to forest destruction’ and drove a life-size animatronic jaguar, one of the animals threatened by rainforest destruction, to Tesco supermarkets in Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, and London.

The Greenpeace volunteer continued: “For Ken Murphy to talk about why the food sector needs collective action on climate change, but not to mention that soya-fed, industrially farmed pigs, cows or chickens exacerbate this problem, is like failing to mention the role of the iceberg in the sinking of the Titanic.”

They added: “Mr Murphy must commit to replacing half the meat Tesco sells with plant-based food by 2025. If he’s still unclear as to why meat = deforestation he’s welcome to join us at our next Greenpeace Stroud Group meeting and we’ll happily talk him through it.”

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Tesco told the SNJ that while their suppliers do source the majority of soy used in animal feed from Brazil, all of them meet the supermarkets zero deforestation standards.

Working with suppliers, Tesco met the 2020 industry-wide target of ‘zero net deforestation’ for their own direct soy sourcing a year early, they said.

They added that because this isn’t sufficient to ensure deforestation is prevented across the sector, they have set an additional “industry-leading” target for the soy Tesco use in the UK to be from entire areas that are verified deforestation-free by 2025.

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