Greenpeace protests at Tesco over deforestation

Greenpeace protests over destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
Slash and burn: The Amazon is cleared away to create grazing land for livestock. Source: Matt Zimmerman (via Wikimedia Commons)

By Zoe Kramer | Head of News

Greenpeace targeted Tesco over the weekend with peaceful demonstrations.

The Greenpeace protests are part of the group’s new campaign against deforestation, particularly in the habitats of jaguars. Protestors re-enacted a scene from Greenpeace’s animation on the subject.

The environmental group has been urging Tesco to cut in half the amount of meat it sells by 2025, as well as to stop doing business with JBS, a Brazilian company accused of furthering deforestation in the rainforest. JBS is the world’s largest meat company.

Greenpeace has articulated how the rainforest is being destroyed by “slash and burn” practices, where the ecosystem is destroyed to create more space to graze livestock. As a result, the Amazon has been subject to thousands of fires and a loss of biodiversity.

Campaigner Clare James said: ‘Threatened wildlife such as jaguars are losing their homes to deforestation, so that’s why we brought these magnificent creatures to Tesco in Cardiff today.

“New Tesco CEO Ken Murphy needs to take urgent action to stop fuelling the destruction of forests like the Amazon.”

Volunteers also delivered a letter to the manager at Tesco, which urged the company to take action to protect forests, and as a result, the planet as a whole. The letter reiterated how phasing out industrial meat can help make these changes.

This is not the first time the group has protested at Tesco locations in Cardiff. In September and October, activists protested at the Pengam Green and Western Avenue stores, and placed stickers reading “forests destroyed to produce this meat” on certain meat products. Greenpeace members also put up posters with the same slogan.

In response, 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, it’s why we’ve committed to a 300% increase in the sales of plant-based meat alternatives, why we don’t sell Brazilian beef and why we support action to ensure all food sold in the UK is deforestation-free.”

The activist group has visited other Tesco locations across the UK as of late to spread this message.

Another set of Greenpeace protests in March targeted Barclays bank, which is known as the largest funder of fossil fuels of all European banks. This campaign involved a pop-up exhibition of photographs of climate disasters and posters, as well as disabling the doors, which put a halt to business.

Over the summer, Greenpeace also called for Cardiff to invest in green transport, and to redesign its streets to allow for more walking and cycling, and fewer cars.

Their mission statement is: “Greenpeace is a movement of people who are passionate about defending the natural world from destruction. Our vision is a greener, healthier and more peaceful planet, one that can sustain life for generations to come.”

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