Save the rainforest by ditching soy, Tesco says

Tesco has called on the government to stop deforestation by encouraging insect farming, days after the supermarket was accused of dealing with “forest destroyers”.

According to a WWF report, insect meal could replace around 540,000 tonnes of soy – mainly used for animal feed – in the UK every year.

Over 100,000 hectares of rainforest is felled annually to grow soy.

Tesco claimed the UK was “lagging behind” other countries, and that the government should help insect farming grow through “financial incentives”.

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The EU is planning to legalise feeding insect protein to livestock, leaving Britain as one of the few European countries where it is still banned.

UK farms could produce around 240,000 tonnes of insect meal annually, the WWF believes.

“The development of alternative animal feeds like insect meal is vital in tackling the environmental impact of food production,” Tesco chief product officer Ashwin Prasad said.

“Retailers like Tesco and the food industry as a whole have a key role to play in scaling up the use of insect feed.

He added that the Big 4 grocer was testing insect meal in its seafood supply chain.

“Producing feed for the 80 billion animals reared for human consumption each year is putting immense pressure on our planet’s resources,” WWF executive director Mike Barrett said.

“It’s vital that the food we eat here in the UK isn’t driving deforestation overseas.

“We encourage the UK government and retail industry to take urgent action to get environmentally damaging practices out of our supply chains and off our shelves.”

The supermarket has sparked fury by purchasing meat from JBS, a company repeatedly linked to illegal deforestation of the Amazon.

Greenpeace protestors gathered outside Tesco’s annual general meeting last week to wave placards spelling “Forest Crime”.

“Tesco’s chicken is reared on soya that’s driving deforestation and fires across Brazil,” Greenpeace forests campaigner Elena Polisano claimed.

Activists have also stencilled “Tesco meat = deforestation” on around 200 stores, apparently planning to do so across the country.

“We require all our suppliers to meet our environmental and zero-deforestation standards,” a Tesco spokesperson told City A.M.

According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, over 290,000 acres of the Amazon rainforest was cut down in May.

Supermarkets

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