Major supermarkets named by Greenpeace for deforestation failure

Coles, Woolworths, ALDI, and IGA are among the companies named by Greenpeace for failing to adequately address deforestation in their supply chains.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s 2024 Deforestation Scorecard assessed how ten of Australia’s top retailers and beef processors stack up in terms of becoming deforestation-free by 2025. 

Image: Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Gemma Plesman, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that the scorecard results expose how little Australia’s big beef purchasers are doing to address the destruction of forests and nature in their supply chains.

“Our Deforestation Scorecard shows that all ten companies we assessed scored a big fat ‘F’.  Given deforestation has been a persistent issue in Australian beef supply chains for decades, these results seriously call into question the environmental performance of these companies.”

Australia has one of the worst rates of deforestation in the world, driven largely by the bulldozing of forests for beef cattle grazing. The report found that all ten of the companies assessed for the scorecard failed, with none scoring above 50 per cent on Greenpeace’s metrics. 

“We’re sick of the glossy marketing from companies that have no idea where their beef comes from. The beef industry must address the destruction of forests and bushland happening on their watch — there must be no hiding behind lacklustre targets and watered-down definitions.”

Plesman said Greenpeace was calling on these companies to publicly aim for, and achieve, conversion and deforestation-free supply chains by 2025, using global best practice definitions.

Glenn Walker, Head of Nature at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that instead of tackling forest destruction, beef industry bodies are attempting to greenwash their way to community acceptance through weak so-called sustainability frameworks and completely watered-down definitions of deforestation.

“For many years the industry-led Australian Beef Sustainability Framework has provided cover for ongoing destruction of forests, attempting to downplay the serious problem of deforestation in beef supply chains. 

“Cattle Australia is also now attempting to design and market its own fantasy definition of deforestation that would likely greenlight business as usual — a model of bulldozing and destruction that has fuelled the deforestation crisis in Australia.

“Enough of the bull. Big beef purchasers like McDonald’s, Coles and Woolies need to show leadership and fix this serious problem once and for all,” said Walker.

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