ON October 23rd, Greenpeace volunteers visited the Tesco store in Swansea Marina to call on the supermarket giant to cut ties with forest destroyers, as part of an escalating nationwide campaign. Volunteers exhibited a life-size cut-out of Tesco CEO Ken Murphy, asking the question “Should I stop funding Amazon rainforest destruction?”.  

Many people agreed that Mr Murphy needs to stop funding Amazon rainforest destruction. A few also took photos with the cut-out and shared them on their social media channels. 

People also signed a petition using a QR code reader on their mobiles, and posted stickers on the cut-out.

The cut-out Ken will then be handed in to the Manager at the Tesco Marina store, tomorrow, Saturday October 30th, alongside a letter from Greenpeace UK Executive Director John Sauven. The letter calls on the supermarket to drop forest destroying companies from its supply chain, and replace at least half of the meat it sells with affordable plant based alternatives by 2025. 

Enid Owen from Swansea, said ‘Many customers in Swansea want Tesco CEO Ken Murphy to mark his one year at the top by dropping rainforest destroying companies from the supermarket’s supply chain. 

Shoppers also know that anything less than a plan for meat reduction is just chicken feed and won’t fix our forests, stabilize our climate or give customers the option to make affordable, healthy choices that don’t harm our planet.’

As of late October, concerned customers have brought the message that ‘Tesco meat = deforestation’, to nearly 1000 of Tesco’s almost 3000 stores, with many more visits planned in the coming weeks. 

Throughout May and June, Greenpeace volunteers also stencilled this message outside more than 270 stores, including in Swansea. Activists then peacefully confronted delegates at Tesco’s Annual General Meeting in June, holding giant letters spelling out the words ‘FOREST CRIME’. 

Greenpeace has recently published an open letter calling on Tesco yet again to stop funding Amazon destruction, and released a film in September exposing how Tesco is linked to the destruction of forests across Brazil.

Tesco’s recently announced ‘Net Zero’ pledge completely ignores the impact that producing industrial meat and dairy has on the climate crisis. Furthermore, despite Tesco claiming to have met its deforestation targets, its meat is not deforestation-free. 

It buys British chicken and pork from suppliers owned by notorious rainforest-destroyer, JBS. JBS recently admitted it would accept deforestation in its supply chain for another 14 years

Tesco continues to sell more soya-fed, factory-farmed meat than any other UK supermarket. It has already failed to keep its promise of zero-deforestation by 2020 and its plans to buy soya ‘only from deforestation-free areas’ by 2025 are meaningless given the complete collapse in 2019 of talks involving traders like Cargill to agree protection for whole areas from soya

Enid Owen continued ‘Instead of coming out with meaningless, greenwashing pledges, Tesco should face up to the fact that meat it sells is contributing to the destruction of the Amazon and other vital ecosystems across Brazil, which is threatening Indigenous Peoples, pushing wildlife to the brink of extinction and exacerbating the climate crisis. Greenpeace Swansea will keep bringing the message that Tesco meat = deforestation directly to its stores until the UK’s largest supermarket lives up to its promise to remove deforestation from its supply chain.’

People who would like to take action at their local Tesco store can apply for a free action pack at act.gp/tesco-pack to receive resources to get Tesco’s attention.