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11 May 2022

The Independent

UK: Supermarket and fast-food chains are buying Brazilian chicken fed on soy from of land from which an indigenous people was expelled

"KFC and UK supermarkets’ chicken ‘hide indigenous rights abuses in Brazil’", 11 May 2022

...Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Iceland and KFC, among others, are accused of sourcing the meat from a Worcestershire company that buys chickens bred on a soya farm created when an indigenous group was forcibly evicted in the 1950s.

Attempts since then by the Guarani Kaiowa people, the second-largest indigenous group in Brazil, to regain access to their ancestral lands have been “brutally suppressed” by authorities and landowners, the report claims, including through violent evictions and aggressive use of the courts to stymie them.

The investigation by Earthsight, a London-based environmental group, and journalists in Brazil, says that UK supplier Westbridge Foods is the main customer of a large poultry company that relies on the 9,700-hectare farm in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state.

The farm was built on land known as Takuara, whose indigenous communities were illegally evicted to make way for big business around 70 years ago. The farm now mass-produces soya, sold to the chicken producer elsewhere in the country...

Westbridge owns Valley Foods, a brand stocked by Sainsbury’s...

Earthsight said its report highlighted how new UK regulations on imports of goods from illegal deforestation must cover land rights, and products such as soya and chicken...

“These findings reinforce the need for new UK regulations aimed at preventing the import of goods linked to illegal deforestation to include strong provisions on indigenous land rights, and to cover a variety of commodities and derived products, such as soy and chicken”...

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “All our suppliers have to meet our strict ethical and sustainable sourcing standards.

“Westbridge does not source any of our own-brand chicken from Brazil. We are in contact with Valley Foods, which manufactures a branded product we stock, about this report.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We respect human rights, and have comprehensive checks in place to ensure that everyone in our supply chain who makes, grows and supplies our products is treated fairly.”

The company acknowledged that it does source meat from Westbridge, but said the chicken it buys has not been fed on soya from the Takuara farm.

KFC failed to respond to The Independent’s request for comment before publication, despite having said they would. Nor did Iceland respond...