Greenpeace stops huge consignment of Amazon soya entering Europe
Amsterdam, 29th April 2006 - Sixty Greenpeace activists (1) today prevented commodities giant Cargill from unloading a shipment of Amazon soya in Amsterdam port, to protest against the destruction of huge tracts of the Amazon rainforest to grow soya to feed farm animals in Europe.
Several activists chained themselves to the conveyor belt and the suction pump Cargill uses to unload the soya, while others started to paint 'Forest Crime' on the company's silos.
Greenpeace forests campaign co-ordinator, Gavin Edwards, said: "Cargill is trashing the Amazon so we can eat cheap meat. The scale of the destruction is incredible -approximately 19,000 hectares of the rainforest, almost the size of Amsterdam, would have to be destroyed to grow the amount of soya on this ship alone."
Cargill, which leads the global trade in Amazon soya, (2) has illegally built a port in the heart of the Amazon rainforest to export its soya. Greenpeace has documented that the company has dealt with farms that have illegally grabbed and deforested areas of public and indigenous Amazon land. Some have even used slave labour. (3)
"This crime stretches from Cargill's illegal operations in the Amazon rainforest to food companies, supermarkets and fast food chains across Europe. Cargill must stop destroying the Amazon to grow soya and must sever its links to slavery and human rights abuses."
Today's shipment (4) is the second to have arrived in Amsterdam since Greenpeace first blew the whistle on the company earlier this month.
A recent report in scientific journal Nature (5) warned that 40% of the Amazon will be lost by 2050 if current trends in agricultural expansion continue, threatening biodiversity and seriously contributing to climate change. Soya monocultures also rely heavily on toxic chemicals, and some Amazon soya is genetically engineered.
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.
Notes to Editors:
(1) The activists are
from: The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland,
Germany, Chile, Italy and Hungary.
together with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Bunge,
of soya production in Brazil and more than three-quarters of Europe's soya
crushing industry that supplies soya meal and oil to the animal feed market.
A copy of the "Eating up the Amazon' is available
A shorter crime file, based on the report:
The Amazon soya comes from Rondonia and Pará. In 2005,
787,000 tonnes of
soya were exported from Santarem: 52% went to the Netherlands; 31% to the UK;
6.5% to Spain; 6% to France.
(5) Soares-Filho, B.S. et al., 2006. Modelling
conservation in the Amazon basin.
Nature 440:520-523. Published 23rd March 2006.