Brazilian meat giant JBS’ plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange could be biggest climate risk IPO in history


Mighty Earth letter to SEC on JBS IPO

The warning from Mighty Earth comes as the environmental group lodges submission with US Securities and Exchange Commission contesting JBS’ Initial Public Offering over governance and climate concerns.

(Washington, DC) Mighty Earth has lodged a submission against JBS with the powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), over the Brazilian meat giant’s plan to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the end of the year. The proposed restructure, ahead of the listing, could see the founding Batista family acquire up to 90% of the shareholder voting power and it could be the biggest climate risk IPO listing in history. 

Mighty Earth has written to the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance contesting the validity of the information JBS has provided in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus, which it says underestimates the company’s climate impact and misleads both the SEC and potential investors.  

Mighty Earth is calling for JBS’ IPO to be scrutinized and at minimum postponed until a decision is reached by the SEC on Mighty Earth’s existing whistleblower complaint, the results of which could include a formal investigation and enforcement action. Any sanctions by the SEC could have a significant impact on the IPO process and the financial outlook of the company, leaving US investors open to risk. 

The active whistleblower complaint referenced above targets JBS’ so-called “green” Sustainability-Linked Bonds (SLBs). The initial complaint was submitted by senior executives of Mighty Earth on 18 January this year and was supplemented on 11 August with additional factual developments concerning JBS’ alleged unlawful conduct.  

Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth said: 

“This is probably the single most important IPO for the climate in history. There are profound implications for the planet if JBS, the world's worst Amazon deforester, is given the go ahead to seek billions of dollars from Wall Street to continue tearing down rainforest, polluting on a vast scale, and driving land-grabbing.”  

“Concentrating 90% of voting power in the hands of the Batista brothers, Joesley and Wesley, both acknowledged criminals, restricts the ability of outside investors to push JBS to end deforestation or deal with its outsized emissions.” 

“That’s why we’re urging the SEC to fully investigate the claims made in the IPO prospectus, and to pause the IPO until the investigation into our existing whistleblower complaint is resolved.” 


Mighty Earth filed a whistleblower complaint to the SEC in January calling for a full investigation into alleged misleading and fraudulent “green bonds” issued by JBS. Evidence in that submission detailed how JBS issued $3.2 billion in four separate debt issuances or “green bonds” in 2021, referring to them as Sustainability-Linked Bonds (SLBs), tied to its stated goal to cut its emissions and achieve “Net Zero by 2040.” 1 

The complaint centred on the fact that JBS based the bond offerings on its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 – but that its emissions have in fact increased in recent years and it excluded ‘Scope 3’ supply chain emissions that comprise upwards of 90% of its climate footprint. It also omitted key information from investors about the actual number of animals it slaughters each year, denying US investors vital information to make fully informed decisions about JBS’ net zero and climate-related claims as they decided whether to purchase these SLBs. 

In 2017, members of the Batista family were involved in Brazil’s biggest high-level corruption scandal, signing a $3.16 billion plea deal. The fall-out from the scandal is estimated to have wiped 9% from the Brazilian stock exchange.  

Key concerns of JBS IPO prospectus:  

  • Aims to restructure the business via the NYSE listing which would disadvantage its minority shareholders, giving increased shareholder voting power to the JBS founders, the Batista family, of between 85% and 90.5%. 
  • Offers shareholders a cash dividend payout of R$1 (Brazilian Real) per share, expected to total R$2.2 billion (US$437 million) to agree the deal.  
  • Includes misleading statements in the filing prospectus regarding JBS’ negative climate impacts, significantly with no mention of its methane emissions which compare to an estimated 55% of US livestock methane emissions.  
  • Underestimates the impact of climate change on future trading and fails to acknowledge the risks to global food production from climate change.  
  • Misleads by claiming to be committed to a “deforestation-free supply chain in Brazil,” when a 2022 audit revealed more than one in six cattle in Brazil - almost 94,000 – did not meet legal requirements, including links to deforestation in its supply chains.  
  • Plays down its role as one of the world’s worst forest destroyers, while estimates put JBS’ true deforestation footprint as high as 1.7 million hectares in its direct and indirect supply chains in Brazil.  
  • Shifts geographies across multiple jurisdictions by creating a new entity in the Netherlands, JBS NV, then onto the NYSE, creating risk for shareholders in exercising their rights to hold the company accountable.  

Gemma Hoskins, Senior Director at Mighty Earth said: 

“The IPO prospectus has serious omissions, misleading statements and frankly more greenwash, designed to present JBS as a winning proposition for the New York Stock Exchange, when nothing could be further from the truth.”  

“JBS wants to list with all the benefits of a public listing while for all extents and purposes continuing to operate like a private company and avoiding US regulatory scrutiny by basing the company in the Netherlands.”  

“It disadvantages other shareholders while giving unprecedented control to the Batista brothers, who have pleaded guilty to criminal acts. All this while JBS reports major losses. How can this be an appealing proposition for investors?” 

Kevin Galbraith, US securities attorney for Mighty Earth, said: 

“We urge the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance not to give JBS the green light on its plans to move forward with the IPO without first considering the existing submission which is with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. In that complaint we demonstrated how JBS accessed U.S. capital markets to raise billions from unsuspecting investors, including asset managers who had signed on to a pledge to avoid issuers whose conduct fuels climate change. We believe that evidence alongside our recent analysis of the IPO prospectus shows that JBS is once again hell bent on harming US investors and misleading markets.” 

CEO Ken Murphy, confirms Tesco’s continued destruction of the Amazon

Whilst a van with a huge TV screen circled Tesco’s headquarters, playing our video highlighting the evidence of 560 Wembley football pitches of deforestation linked to Tesco’s chicken and pork products to their shareholders, I had hoped Tesco would be ready to make an overdue announcement – they were finally ready to show real climate leadership and cut their ties with US agricultural giant, Cargill. 

Tesco made a commitment to its customer and shareholders to end deforestation in its supply chain by 2020, a target which was quietly readjusted to 2025. Cargill  - US agri-giant and Tesco’s biggest single provider of soy – have only committed to a 2030 deforestation-free target. The maths do not add up. 

So, the Mighty Earth team went to Tesco’s AGM to ask the Board and CEO Ken Murphy why Tesco is willing to tolerate deforestation in its supply chain between now and 2025. Despite setting a target, Mr Murphy told the AGM that Tesco "simply cannot" change the supply chain on its own.  




Let’s Factcheck the rest of Mr. Murphy’s reply:  

Murphy said Tesco “has a comprehensive plan to end deforestation in its soy supply chains."   

FACT: Tesco has removed its Soy Transition Plan’ from its website. 

(We suspect to avoid being held to the targets they set themselves in the plan – 60% deforestation free by 2023 – and want to avoid being accountable to their public commitment.) 

Ken said: “All of our suppliers must meet our deforestation free targets by 2025.” 

FACT: Only 20% of Tesco’s suppliers had a 2025 deforestation and conversion-free target – this means only 1 in 5 had made a commitment to this target to date.  

Ken said: “we look for verification that the soy is deforestation free.” 
FACT: 64% of Tesco’s 2021 soy footprint is ‘not yet attributable’ meaning Tesco don’t know where it came from and cannot verify its deforestation-free status. 

Ken said: “Tesco was a founder member of Amazon Soy Moratorium."  

FACT: Tesco supported the ASM, but it is not a founding member.   

The Tesco CEO seems to be pinning his hopes on alternatives for soy, which are currently not possible in the UK. 

“We are looking to develop things like the black soldier fly programme which can act as an alternative to soy. It’s already accredited as an alternative in the European Union. It requires legislation for it to be so in the UK” 

FACT: Other UK supermarkets have already made a switch to insect diets, supplemented by  

British beans, peas and sunflower seeds and fruit and vegetable waste. Where there is a will, there is a way. 

Tesco said ‘we are actively promoting meat alternatives.’ 

FACT: Tesco set a 300% increase in plant-based in 2020, but despite requests, have failed to provide any progress to date against this target. 

Pressed on the need to reduce meat and dairy as part of the company's Net Zero target, Mr. Murphy described Tesco’s Scope 3 emissions as ‘vast’ and admitted a meat reduction target was necessary to meet its Net Zero commitments and was “very, very conscious of the role meat and dairy play in our emissions targets and we’re very committed to halving the environmental impact of that” 

Does this mean we can expect a 50% meat and dairy reduction target from Tesco, in line with the Government’s own Health Strategy? 

And finally, we were surprised to learn at the AGM that Tesco's new Sustainability Chair is Stewart Gilliland, who comes to Tesco from Pilgrims UK, the UK’s biggest meat producers and owned by wait for it...JBS. Enough said.    

Tesco claim to be ‘leading the sector’ on environmental actions – but we don’t see the evidence of this in practice. Tesco must lead the way because its environmental footprint – as the UK’s largest supermarkets and the world’s 9th largest – is huge. To meet the UK Government’s legal commitment to 2050 Net Zero, business like Tesco, who claim the largest market share on the UK (27.5%) have the purchasing power to make the relevant changings. But it was clear at the AGM, as Ken Murphy read from a pre-pared answer to my question, that his personal knowledge and motivating on all things environmental are seriously lacking.  

Without strong leadership from Ken Murphy, Tesco plc has no hope of delivering on its Net Zero plans.  

Saving the Cerrado: Why Supermarkets, Bunge and Governments Must Act Fast

Saving the Cerrado: Why Bunge, supermarkets and governments must act fast

New Mighty Earth report prompts leading supermarkets to investigate 


Click on your language to read the report, the press release and watch the video






The Cerrado savannah, Brazil’s “forgotten jewel,” is less well known than its neighbor the Amazon, but it is just as important in helping us stabilize our climate and protect nature. We need the Cerrado as much as we need the Amazon.  

The Cerrado is in peril, disappearing at an alarming rate, becoming a deforestation hotspot. Half of its land surface has been lost, taken by the meat industry to rear cattle and grow soy for animal feed. Scientists warn it is vulnerable to ecosystem collapse, and risks becoming a barren wasteland, unable to support the people and wildlife who live there.






The Cerrado is the world’s largest and most diverse savannah, home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, including many that are endangered: the jaguar; the giant anteater and the maned wolf. It is home to many Indigenous and local communities.

Known as an ‘upside-down forest’, it stores around 13.7 billion tons of carbon in its soils and immense root system, equivalent to that of a tropical forest. It is also a major water source, but soy expansion to feed livestock in intensive farming systems, means it is becoming drier and hotter.  

Deforestation in the Cerrado hit a record high of 353,200 hectares between January and May 2023, and recent figures from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show deforestation rates
rising steeply there incomparison to the Amazon, where rates are declining.



What’s the issue with soy? 

Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of soy. It is estimated that over 20 million hectares of Brazil’s forest cover have been lost to soy growing in the last three decades. The Cerrado is at the epicentre of soy production and expansion. Across the world, the meat industry uses soy as a high protein feed for livestock, primarily to produce immense volumes of cheap meat as quickly as possible, stacked high on the shelves of global supermarkets.  

Why Bunge?  

US-based Bunge is one of the big international corporations that trades in soy for animal feed. It has ambitions to be the biggest, having just announced a merger with Dutch company Viterra, to form a $34BN agricultural giant. 

With annual revenues of $67 billion, Bunge is the main supplier of soy animal feed to the meat industry in the European Union and is the trader with the greatest deforestation risk linked to soy in the Cerrado, after the two next worst commodities giants, ADM, and Cargill.  

Bunge ships vast amounts of soy to Europe to feed animals in intensive farming systems, destined for the meat aisles of major supermarkets in France, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands – for beef, poultry, pork, and dairy products. Markets in Europe are causing more deforestation in the Cerrado than anywhere else in the world. 

What we found 

Bunge recently bought soy from three farms responsible for the equivalent of 15,897 soccer pitches of deforestation in the Cerrado (11,351 ha), cleared after 2021. Our partner AidEnvironment also detected another five cases linked to an additional 14,598 hectares of deforestation that took place on soy farms in the Cerrado in early 2023, in high-risk areas where Bunge is the leading soy exporter. 

Bunge confirmed to Mighty Earth that it has recently sourced soy directly from four of the eight farms named in our investigation – although it said the deforestation was legal under Brazilian law and failed to provide any further details. 

Bunge told us that it does not have a deforestation cut-off date of 2020, and so will accept legally deforested, deforestation-risk, or deforestation-linked soy in its supply chain until 2025. 

What has been the impact of our investigation?  

We contacted 100 companies to ask if they had links to soy from Bunge in their meat supply chains. Five confirmed that they did, and several major supermarkets have acted, launching investigations. These include Carrefour and Casino in France, Ahold Delhaize and Jumbo in the Netherlands and Aldi South in Germany. 

We need Bunge, supermarkets, and governments to do more and to do it fast to save the Cerrado, before it is too late.  



Graphics : Rémi Cans,

Deforestation cases linked to JBS beef supply chain harm Indigenous lands

Deforestation cases linked to JBS beef supply chain harm Indigenous lands



Destruction of the Amazon rainforest continues at pace, with staggering losses of forest cover, bringing it ever closer to an irreversible tipping point where vast areas die back and turn to dry savannahs. The Amazon helps regulate global weather patterns and stores carbon in its millions of trees to help cool our warming world. But the scale of deforestation means it is fast releasing more carbon than it stores. Its neighbouring biome, the Cerrado savannah is disappearing even faster, having lost half of its surface area. These losses have severe local and global implications.  


Agricultural expansion to rear cattle or to grow soy to feed farm animals, largely in intensive systems, is the biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado, harming Indigenous and local communities and decimating wildlife populations. Encroachment on to Indigenous territories is widespread, threatening the rights, lives, and livelihoods of people for whom the forest is home.  

What’s the issue with beef? 

Across the Amazon farms and slaughterhouses support industrial meat operations. Cattle reared on deforested land, which has been cleared and burned, are moved from farm to farm, before entering the supply chain to be turned into beef products sold in supermarkets across the world. Co-products of the meat industry such as leather and collagen supply the auto and beauty industries.  


Photo credit: Fernando Martinho/Repórter Brasil

Why JBS? 

At the centre of these operations is Brazilian meat giant, JBS – the largest and most powerful meat processing company in the world. As part of its expansive business model, JBS is linked to the destruction and degradation of vast swathes of rainforests and ecosystems. Researchers estimate that JBS’s total deforestation footprint in six Brazilian states since 2008 may be as high as 200,000 hectares in its direct supply chain and some 1.5 million hectares in its indirect supply chain. This is linked to forest fires, modern-day slavery, and violent invasions of Indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands.  

What are the cases of deforestation? 

Mighty Earth and our partner AidEnvironment have identified 68 cases of deforestation linked to JBS’s beef supply chain, covering an area of more than 125,000 hectares, almost equivalent in size to that of the São Paulo in Brazil, or London in the UK. Most of the encroachment is occurring in the state of Mato Grosso, one of the main deforestation frontiers for meat and soy production in Brazil. The state is also a transition area between the Cerrado and the Amazon, containing key areas of both biomes. 

Using satellite technology and the Brazilian government’s DETER deforestation detection system, we mapped the location of farms in JBS’s meat supply chain and their proximity to Indigenous territories. Twelve of these farms identified as deforesting are connected to ten Indigenous Lands – either in proximity, bordering or overlapping in some cases.  

One of the cases identified is a single cattle farm (Fazenda Santiago), located in the city of Paranatinga in Mato Grosso, which overlaps an area claimed by the Ikpeng Indigenous people. More than 11,000 hectares, equivalent to 16,000 football pitches were deforested in 2022. 

All the cases were analyzed, confirmed through high-resolution satellite imagery, and validated before being published. The cases analyzed between January 2019 and October 2020 were published in the Rapid Response reports, commissioned by Mighty Earth and AidEnvironment. The cases between January 2021 and September 2022 were published in the Real-time Deforestation Monitoring (RDM) reports, produced by AidEnvironment. However, JBS has point blank refused to investigate all 68 cases of deforestation that we sent them last December.  

68 cases, Zero response from JBS 

In November and December of 2022, we sent JBS the 68 cases of deforestation. JBS responded to say it wouldn’t investigate the verified deforestation cases because the real-time system used to identify the cases does not align with its deforestation monitoring protocol. Instead, JBS relies solely on the annual deforestation satellite detection system (PRODES), allowing up to one year for deforestation to continue before the company does anything about it.  

JBS’s position as the largest meat processor in the word, and by some estimates is responsible for around half of all cattle slaughtered in Brazil, means the company has a crucial role and enormous potential to act quickly on deforestation at the 10-hectare level, before it gets to 1,000- or 10,000-hectare level.  

Given the climate and nature emergency, companies can’t sit on cases of deforestation in their supply chains and do nothing.  

JBS : time to step up your game. 


Tesco: A basket of problems for the Amazon


Link to report here     Link to video here  


New report by Mighty Earth shows chicken and pork products sold in Tesco’s UK stores linked to Amazon deforestation, equivalent to 560 Wembley pitches  

A new Mighty Earth report, “Tesco: A basket of problems for the Amazon,” shows chicken and pork products sold in Tesco stores are linked to recent, illegal fires and deforestation of 400 hectares of Brazilian Amazon rainforest, equivalent to 560 Wembley football pitches, and the loss of more than 220,000 trees. It follows a thorough investigation mapping Tesco’s full soy supply chain from farm level in the Amazon, via US agricultural giant Cargill, on to UK meat producers Avara and Pilgrim’s UK, and finally to the shelves of the UK’s biggest retailer.  

Meat products found on Tesco’s shelves linked to deforestation-risk soy from the Amazon include Tesco branded chicken breasts, tenders and chicken nuggets. For the first time, our investigation made links from Cargill to a leading UK pork supplier and trading division of Pilgrim’s UK, direct suppliers to Tesco. 

The joint investigation by Mighty Earth, Ecostorm and Repórter Brasil documents evidence of illegal fires set in September 2022, used to clear forests to grow high-protein soy, to feed pigs and poultry reared intensively in factory farms in the UK. The Brazilian farm in question, Santa Ana located in the Mato Grosso region, had previously been blocked as a Cargill supplier, but at the time of the investigation was said by Cargill to comply with regulations to prevent deforestation. Our investigation also uncovered evidence of grain laundering, where legally grown soy is mixed with soy grown on illegally deforested land.  

Our report highlights that the illegal fires and forest clearing at Santa Ana farm breach the Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM), Brazilian laws, the UK Soy Manifesto’s commitment, and Cargill’s own policies. The ASM bans the sale of soy grown on land deforested after 2008. 

Mighty Earth is urging Tesco to drop soy suppliers such as Cargill that have been persistently linked to alleged deforestation and ecosystem destruction in the Amazon and other threatened biomes in Latin America, such as the Cerrado savannah and the Pantanal. 

Key findings:  

  • Satellite images of Cargill supplier Santa Ana farm, situated in Mato Grosso, show a total of 635 hectares of Amazon deforestation, 400 hectares of which were burned within a few days in September 2022. That’s equivalent to 560 Wembley pitches.  
  • Our joint investigation maps the soy supply chain from Santa Ana farm in Mato Grosso in Brazil to the UK and highlights deforestation contamination of Cargill’s Brazilian soy supply, which makes up 70% of the UK’s total soy imports. 75% of Cargill's UK supply originates from Santarém port in Pará in Brazil.  
  • New evidence from our soy investigation uncovered how the British pork sector also has links, via feed suppliers, to Amazon deforestation.  
  • Our investigation maps multiple suppliers – which risk being contaminated with deforestation-risk soy through Cargill’s supply – to Tesco across a range of chicken and pork products sold online and on its supermarket shelves.  
  • In January and February 2023 our investigation established that an Avara animal feed mill in Hereford in the UK is supplying soy meal feed to chicken farms in the county. 
  • Our investigation documented, for the first time, grain deliveries from Frontier Agriculture, a joint Cargill-Associated British Foods venture, to ForFarmers feed mill. It supplies BQP farms, which supplies pork and is a trading division of Pilgrim’s UK, direct suppliers to Tesco. 
  • A recent Human Rights Assessment report, prepared on behalf of Pilgrim’s UK, estimated 65% of its pork was supplied by BQP. ForFarmers previously admitted that approximately 14% of its UK soy is sourced from Brazil. 

Soy journey from Amazon farm to Tesco shelves 


Gemma Hoskins, UK Director at Mighty Earth said: 

Our investigation shows Tesco is a basket of problems for the Amazon. While the UK’s top retailer reaps massive profits, it continues to do business with known forest destroyers such as Cargill, adding fuel to the fire of Amazon deforestation, harming the health of local communities, and decimating wildlife and precious habitats.”  

“We’ve shown that soy grown on recently burnt and deforested land in the Amazon risks entering the Cargill supply chain to feed chicken and pigs reared intensively on factory farms in the UK, before ending up in Tesco’s meat aisles.”  

“Business as usual isn’t an option if we want to tackle the climate emergency. Tesco should only source from companies that don’t put the Amazon and other precious biomes at risk. That means cutting ties with Cargill urgently.” 

Impact on Tesco’s deforestation commitments 

Tesco has committed to a 2020 cut-off date for deforestation and to source 100% of its soy from Deforestation and Conversion-Free (DCF) areas by 2025, including all forms of deforestation, both legal and illegal. That means it cannot buy goods from land deforested after 2020. Our new evidence shows that Tesco’s 2020 cut-off date has been breached and indicates that its 2025 target is likely unachievable, while it continues to source such high volumes of soy from Cargill. Its target date of DCF by 2030 is incompatible with Tesco, and with incoming due diligence laws in the UK, designed to clean up forest-risk supply chains.  

Cargill’s flawed supply chain 

Cargill insists it has robust procedures in place to prevent deforestation from entering its soy supply chains and for farms to comply with the ASM and Brazilian law. It maintains that when the Santa Ana farm was added to the Soy Moratorium’s prohibited list in May 2021, Cargill immediately blocked purchases from the farm in question. However, Cargill says it unblocked the Santa Ana farm in June 2022, just months before a further 400 hectares of deforestation occurred. In a recent statement to Mighty Earth, Cargill said about the Santa Ana farm:  

As reported in our Soy Report, once a farm is blocked, there is a robust process in place that must be followed for a farm to be unblocked. In this case [referring to the Santa Ana farm], in the following year, the farmer proved compliance with the Soy Moratorium, which was validated by the governing organizations and NGOs. As a result, in June 2022, the farmer was removed from the Soy Moratorium embargo list and, therefore, unblocked in Cargill’s system. The supplier remains compliant with the Soy Moratorium rules. 

This case is not an exception and highlights the fundamental flaws across Cargill’s soy related deforestation monitoring and enforcement systems, leading to the risk of contamination of Cargill soy sold across the whole of the UK’s farming, food, and retail sectors. 

Glenn Hurowitz, founder, and CEO at Mighty Earth said: 

Cargill maintains it put the Santa Ana farm back on its books in June 2022 as it complied with all the necessary rules and yet less than three months later, teams on the ground documented illegal fires and a staggering 400 hectares of deforestation on the farm.”  

“If Cargill, the biggest privately-owned US company, wants to be part of the solution to the climate and nature crisis, it needs to source from suppliers farming on previously degraded land, of which there are 1.6 billion acres in Latin America, alone. Not from those who are still torching forests.” 

“Cargill urgently needs to increase its ambition in line with its competitors and customers and bringing forward its deforestation target to from 2030 to 2025. We can’t allow another seven years of deforestation if we’re to save what’s left of the Amazon and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”  




Read our press release Our press release (Portuguese) Take Action: Read the full report here.  Take Action: Watch and share our video  Tesco AGM blog





Scientists estimate that the Amazon rainforest is close to an irreversible tipping point, where vast areas of the rainforest will die back and turn to dry savannahs. This has severe local and global implications. The people and wildlife that live there need standing forests for their survival. The Amazon helps regulate global weather patterns and stores carbon in its millions of trees to help cool our warming world. But the scale of deforestation means it is fast releasing more carbon than it stores. Agriculture is the biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon, harming local communities and decimating wildlife populations. Huges swathes of rainforest have been lost to cattle farming and soy, grown as animal feed. How we produce food is linked to deforestation and supermarkets are complicit in this.  

How the chicken and pork in your Tesco store is fuelling Amazon destruction 

What’s the issue with soy? 

Soy ranks as one of the UK’s top imported agricultural commodities with the highest deforestation risk. The UK imports 3 million metric tons of soy each year, 90% of which is used to feed animals, largely in intensive systems. UK supermarkets are driving demand for soy for livestock feed. 

Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of soy. It’s estimated that over 20 million hectares of Brazil's forest cover have been lost to soy growing in the last three decades. And it’s not likely to improve any time soon, with global meat consumption increasing.  

We mapped the soy supply chain from one farm, Santa Ana, in the Brazilian Amazon to the shelves of Tesco. The farm, which supplies soy to US commodities giant, Cargill, we found evidence of 400 hectares of rainforest burned within a few days in September 2022 to make way for soy. That’s more than 560 Wembley football pitches lost in a matter of days, on a single farm.  

Our investigation follows the journey of illegally grown soy at Santa Ana farms in the Amazon on its route through Brazil, and its likely transfer to Cargill’s grain store at Santarém port, from where over 75 percent of Cargill’s UK is shipped to Liverpool. On arrival in the UK the soy is sent onto meat processing companies, Avara and Pilgrims, which supply chicken and pork products to Tesco.  

Why Tesco? 

Tesco is the ninth biggest supermarket in the world by revenue and holds the largest share – some 27% – of the UK retail market. At almost 100,000 tonnes, Tesco had the largest soy footprint of the UK major supermarkets. Agricultural giant, Cargill made up almost a quarter (22%) of Tesco’s soy footprint in 2021. 

Tesco has promised to be deforestation-free in its soy supply chains by 2025, but this target is unachievable if it continues to do business with Cargill - Tesco is Cargill’s main customer in the UK. As the UK’s biggest retailer and with such a dominant market share, Tesco can use its power as a force for good to clean up its supply chains and cut ties with known forest destroyers such as Cargill.  

None of us wants to be dining on deforestation. We can demand change. 




Santander bank finances the climate crisis and deforestation

Ahead of the bank’s AGM a report by Ecologistas en Acción and Mighty Earth highlights the negative impact of Santander's investments in agribusiness, the fossil fuel industry and the arms trade

Executive summary Spanish report Spanish press release

Ahead of the Santander General Annual Meeting in Madrid, Ecologistas en Acción and Mighty Earth have released the report “Banco Santander: Financing the climate crisis,” which details some of its most negative investments for the planet.

According to the report, between 2010 and 2022 Santander offered credit worth USD 11,086 million to the sectors most involved in global deforestation: wood, paper, palm oil, beef, soybeans, and rubber, occupying the fifth position in the ranking of financiers of these sectors

Santander is also the second financial institution in the EU that grants most loans to the main Brazilian beef exporters involved in deforestation: JBS, Marfrig and Minerva.

In the case of JBS, since 2019 Banco Santander has carried out nine bond issuances for an amount of USD 7,650 million and has participated in eight of them for an amount of USD 7,150 million. This places it among the 20 banks that are not only financing deforestation in tropical rainforests, but also driving the largest methane emissions (a gas with a global warming potential 84 times greater than CO2) related to the livestock sector globally.

Regarding the financing of fossil energy, the report details an increase in the interest of the financial sector in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG, composed mainly of methane), one of the most harmful industries in the world.

Santander, according to data provided by Profundo, would have participated between April 2021 and September 2022 in the placement of bonds worth USD 3,000 million for Venture Global LNG, a US company that is developing LNG plants on the Gulf coast from Mexico.

This is a highly controversial investment, with local organizations warning of air pollution in the area, causing health problems for the local population. There are also several environmental issues: danger of the site being flooded; local homes being contaminated; and threats to farmland and fragile coastal wetlands. On a social level, most people living in this area are black and indigenous communities, who continue to fight daily to protect their homes and livelihoods.

Finally, the report details Santander’s involvement in the arms trade echoing the report by the Center Delàs “ Financing of militarization and border warfare in the Mediterranean.” Santander financed large companies involved in the arms industry and border militarization between 2020 and 2022 to the tune of more than 4,000 million euros. All this despite the bank's policies that prohibit the financing of military weapons.


The report includes key recommendations for Santander:

▪ Suspend any services, financing or contracts with those companies that do not transparently demonstrate that they fully comply with its no-deforestation agreements.

▪ Require energy, meat and dairy companies financed by Santander to publish quantified, independently verified, and complete information on methane emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) by product line.

▪ Comply with signed global agreements (especially the Net Zero Alliance) and adopt a strategy of progressive withdrawal from the oil and gas industry according to a specific schedule.

▪ Establish better monitoring and control mechanisms based on international legislation and standards on the financing of companies dedicated to the development of dual-use materials (both civil and military).

▪ Withdraw funding from any company engaged in the development, manufacture, and distribution of materials capable of being used for war.


Ecologistas en Acción and Mighty Earth, signatory organizations to the report, have declared: "We must be vigilant to avoid greenwashing and demand that Santander demonstrates real corporate responsibility that sanctions this type of investment and allows a redirection of flows funds towards activities that do not impact the lives of people and the health of the planet.”

Banco Santander financia la crisis climática y la deforestación

  • Un informe de Ecologistas en Acción y Mighty Earth señala el impacto negativo de las inversiones de Banco Santander en sectores como la agroindustria, la industria fósil y el negocio armamentístico
  • El lanzamiento del informe coincide con la celebración de la Junta General de Accionistas que celebra hoy el banco en Boadilla del Monte

Informe  Executive summary English press release

Con motivo de la Junta de Accionistas del Banco Santander, Ecologistas en Acción y Mighty Earth han presentado el informe Banco Santander: Financiando la crisis climática, en el que se resumen algunas de sus inversiones más negativas para el planeta.

Según el informe, entre los años 2010 y el 2022 Banco Santander ofreció crédito por valor de 11.086 millones de dólares a los sectores más implicados en la deforestación mundial: madera, papel, aceite de palma, carne de vacuno, soja y caucho, al tiempo que ocupó la quinta posición en el ranking de financiadores de estos sectores.

Banco Santander es también la segunda institución financiera de la UE que más créditos concede a los principales exportadores brasileños de carne de vacuno implicados en la deforestación: JBS, Marfig y Minerva.

En el caso de JBS, desde 2019 Banco Santander ha realizado nueve emisiones de bonos por importe de 7.650 millones de USD, y ha participado en ocho de ellas por un importe de 7.150 millones. Esto le coloca entre los 20 bancos que no solo están financiando la deforestación en las selvas tropicales, sino también las mayores emisiones de metano (un gas con un potencial de calentamiento climático 84 veces mayor que el CO2) relacionadas con el sector ganadero a nivel mundial.

En cuanto a la financiación de la energía fósil, el informe detalla un aumento del interés del sector financiero por el Gas Natural Licuado (GNL, compuesto fundamentalmente de metano), una de las industrias más nocivas del mundo.

Banco Santander, según datos proporcionados por Profundo, habría participado entre abril de 2021 y septiembre de 2022 en la colocación de bonos por valor de 3.000 millones de dólares para Venture Global LNG, una compañía estadounidense que está desarrollando plantas de GNL en la costa del golfo de México.

Se trata de una inversión muy controvertida, ya que las organizaciones locales alertan de la contaminación del aire en la zona y de los problemas de salud que está provocando en la población local. Por otro lado, los problemas medioambientales son varios: peligro de que el emplazamiento se inunde; traslado de la contaminación por productos químicos a viviendas; y tierras de cultivo y frágiles humedales costeros. A nivel social la mayoría de personas en este territorio, predominantemente comunidades negras e indígenas, siguen luchando a diario para que sus hogares no se conviertan en zonas de sacrificio.

Por último, el informe apunta al negocio armamentístico, y haciéndose eco del informe del Centre Delàs “Financiación de la militarización y la guerra de fronteras en el Mediterráneo”  señala cómo Banco Santander financió con más de 4.000 millones de euros a grandes empresas dedicadas a la industria del armamento y militarización de fronteras entre el año 2020 y 2022. Todo esto a pesar de las políticas del banco que prohíben la financiación de armamento militar. 


El informe finaliza con una serie de recomendaciones hacia el Banco Santander entre las que se encuentran:

  • En materia de deforestación:
    ▪ Suspender cualquier servicio, financiación o contrato con aquellas empresas que no demuestren de forma transparente que cumplen plenamente sus acuerdos de no deforestación.
    ▪ Exigir a las empresas energéticas, cárnicas y lácteas financiadas por Banco Santander que publiquen información cuantificada, verificada de forma independiente y completa sobre las emisiones de metano (Alcance 1, 2 y 3) por línea de producto.
  • En relación con la industria fósil:
    ▪ Cumplir con los acuerdos globales firmados (en especial del Net Zero Alliance) y adoptar una estrategia de retirada progresiva de la industria del petróleo y el gas de acuerdo con un calendario
  • En cuanto a la industria armamentística:
    ▪ Establecer mejores mecanismos de seguimiento y control basado en legislaciones y normas internacionales sobre la financiación de compañías dedicadas al desarrollo de materiales de doble uso (tanto civil como militar).
    ▪ Retirar la financiación a cualquier compañía que se dedique al desarrollo, fabricación y distribución de materiales susceptibles de ser usados para la guerra.


Ecologistas en Acción y Mighty Earth, organizaciones firmantes del informe, han declarado: “Debemos estar vigilantes para evitar el lavado verde (greenwashing) y exigir una responsabilidad corporativa a Banco Santander que realmente sancione este tipo de inversiones y que permita una redirección de los flujos financieros hacia actividades que no impacten en la vida de las personas y la salud del planeta”.



Tesco : a basket of problems for the Amazon

Palm oil and timber giant Korindo backs down in long-running case to silence civil society organizations

Baca dalam Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa language press release

(Hamburg, Germany 21 Feb 2023) The plaintiff in the legal proceedings, a company belonging to the Korindo group of businesses, has agreed to end a long-running lawsuit, after a judge in Germany looked set to dismiss the case. PT Kenertec Power Systems’ lawsuit was obviously intended to silence a civil society campaign to protect rainforest, in Indonesia’s Papua province, threatened by Korindo’s extensive palm oil operations.  


Korindo’s operations span the globe, ranging from timber, paper, rubber, and palm oil to renewable energy. In 2016, Mighty Earth, Rainforest Rescue and several Indonesian and Korean NGOs (non-governmental organisations) were signatories to a letter highlighting Korindo’s rampant deforestation in its huge palm oil operations in Papua, Indonesia. The letters were sent to Kenertec’s major wind tower customers in Germany. 

In 2017 Mighty Earth submitted a complaint to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global sustainable forestry certification body, regarding Korindo’s clearing of more than 30,000 hectares of Indonesian rainforests in Papua. The FSC launched an investigation.1 

In 2018, Korindo instructed legal firm, LPA Singapore, to send threatening emails to at least seven organizations that signed the 2016 letter. The email stated: 'Korindo’s policy is to engage legal actions against individuals or organisations that circulate incorrect information or make factually erroneous public statements about Korindo - with the intention or effect to damage Korindo’s business interests. Korindo is consequently in the process of initiating legal actions against Mighty Earth.’ 

In 2019, Korindo’s PT Kenertec Power Systems German lawyers2 filed a libel lawsuit in Germany, against the Center for International Policy (CIP), a former fiscal sponsor to Mighty Earth, and the German NGO, Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue). Kenertec’s German lawyer argued that statements, made in letters sent to wind tower customers in Germany, namely Siemens AG (Germany), Gamesa Corporation (now Siemens Gamesa) and Nordex SE (Germany), were defamatory. 

In 2019 Korindo’s legal firm, threatened the FSC, which was investigating Korindo’s violations of its policies, based on Mighty Earth’s 2017 complaint. The investigation found that Korindo had destroyed more than 30,000 hectares of forest  (equivalent to 42,000 football fields) in the previous five years and committed violations of Indigenous peoples’ traditional and human rights, in contravention of FSC standards.3 The investigation estimated that Korindo haddeprived indigenous communities in Indonesia’s Papua province of $300 million by underpaying for the timber harvested from their lands 4 

In late 2021, the FSC expelled Korindo based on its failure to cooperate with the FSC and agree on a process to address the impacts of its forestry and palm oil operations.5 

Korindo agrees to settle  

On 21 February 2023 Kenertec and Rainforest Rescue agreed to settle the dispute, instigated by Korindo three years ago, based on a proposal put forward by the German court. The judge declared that Kenertec could not sue CIP for statements made in the letter signed by Mighty Earth. 

The SLAPP lawsuit was obviously designed to silence and intimidate the civil society groups and prevent them from repeating some statements in the letters, or be fined €250,000 in each case of violation, or face imprisonment.  

What is SLAPP? 

The lawsuit is an example of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suit, in which big corporations or high-profile individuals, file lawsuits designed to harass and drain substantial resources from watchdog organizations, activists, journalists, trade unions, media organizations, and those who represent the public interest. 

Amanda Hurowitz, Senior Director for Southeast Asia, Mighty Earth said: 

“Korindo’s attempt to silence Mighty Earth and our NGO allies was completely baseless. Finally, after three years, as a German court was preparing to dismiss the case, Korindo backed down. They agreed to settle without any damages or injunctions being awarded against Mighty Earth, CIP or Rainforest Rescue and agreed to pay most of the court’s legal costs.” 

“Rogue companies that destroy the planet shouldn’t be wasting the courts’ time with cases aimed at gagging civil society groups, who are rightly pushing for a global end to deforestation for palm oil, timber, soy, beef, and other commodities, to tackle climate change and nature loss.”  

Professor Roger Mann of German legal firm, Damm & Mann, acting for CIP and Rainforest Rescue, said:   

“After more than three years, Korindo has accepted a settlement proposal made by the court after it was inclined to dismiss the case completely. The court had made it clear, at an early stage, that the claims against CIP and for revocation against both defendants were completely without merit.”  

“Regarding the claims for injunctive relief in relation to the statement about the setting of illegal fires by Korindo, the defendants had presented so many facts and offered so much evidence that the court considered hearing witnesses in Indonesia. This did not happen because, after a change of judge, the court indicated that the plaintiff was not entitled to injunctive relief because its business was wind turbines, and it wasn’t involved in the palm oil business of Korindo.” 

Franky Samperante, Yayasan Pusaka (Indonesia) said: 

“For decades, Korindo has gotten away with violating indigenous peoples’ land rights without exposure. Korindo should be seriously committed to respect and recover the rights of affected Papuan Indigenous communities and protect local environment. 

Andi Muttaqien, Satya Bumi (Indonesia):  

Korindo has destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of rainforest in Papua. The company should be using its resources and money to restore the damage it has caused, instead of wasting them to silence activist campaigns in protecting forests and indigenous peoples. 

Shin Young, Advocates for Public Interest Law, APIL (Korea)  

“If Korindo is serious about improving its credibility and environmental and human rights performance, it needs to stop its legal harassment of civil society groups who have tried to stand up to its abuses, restore the forest habitat it destroyed and pay restitution to affected Papuan Indigenous communities." 


Notes to Editors: 

1 FSC launches investigation into Korindo after Mighty Earth files complaint, Mighty Earth May 2017 

2 Lawyers Manner & Spangenberg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB, An der Alster 64, 20099 Hamburg, Germany, Ref.: 10025-003 SCM 

3 FSC overview of findings against Korindo, following the FSC Complaint Panel field trip to the Korindo’s palm oil plantations in December 2017 FSC  

4 As reported by Mongabay and The Gecko Project based on a leaked version of the full FSC Complaint Panel report. 

5 FSC announces disassociation from Korindo. FSC press release 16 October 2021  

Images and broll available here