A ban on deforestation for UK supermarkets?


UK supermarkets are to be banned from selling products linked to deforestation.

Large businesses operating in the U.K. will have to show that commodities in their supply chains complied with local environmental laws when being produced.

News outlets are reporting today that, under new government plans, British supermarkets will be banned from selling beef, soy and other key commodities sourced from illegally deforested land. Large businesses operating in the U.K. will have to show that commodities – including soy, cocoa and palm oil – sourced in their supply chains complied with local environmental laws when being produced. Companies that fail to do so will face fines.

It’s good to see that there is an appetite for this sort of legislation, but we share the concerns of many other environmental groups about how easy it might be to get around the ban.

“There is…nothing to address the fact that some commodity producers may have one ‘sustainable’ line but continue to destroy forests elsewhere which just shifts the problem into someone else’s backyard,” – Elena Polisano, Greenpeace U.K.

For now, the onus continues to fall on consumers to do our research about what we’re buying. Apps like Giki are very useful for this if you live in the UK, or you can check products against the WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard. In the US, you can use the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo app.

Read more about palm oil, including our stance on sustainable palm oil, here.

A ban on deforestation for UK supermarkets?

Zac Mills

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