British Food Firms Vow to Stop Soy Imports from Deforested Areas
(Bloomberg) -- More than two dozen companies, including British grocer J Sainsbury Plc, Swiss food giant Nestle SA and French yogurt maker Danone SA, are backing a U.K. initiative to stop soy shipments from deforested regions of the world.
A total 27 firms signed the UK Soy Manifesto, a new industry commitment to ensure physical soy shipments to the U.K. aren’t grown from areas where forests were cut down or native vegetation was converted into farmland after January 2020. The initiative, launched Tuesday with secretarial support from British consultancy Efeca, follows similar efforts in Europe. Initial funding was provided by grocery chain Tesco Plc and the World Wildlife Fund.
The companies, which also include Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.’s U.K. unit, McDonald’s Corp. and KFC Corp., account for 60% of the U.K.’s soy imports, according to a statement on Efeca’s website. Annual soybean consumption in the U.K. is about 3.5 million tons. The signatories also agree to publicly disclose their progress and require their suppliers to adopt such commitments.
Deforestation and land-use change driven by agricultural expansion account for 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and commodities such as soy, beef, palm oil and timber are key global drivers, according to the initiative’s website.
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