What's Feeding Our Food: Factory Farms

UK - Large-scale factory farming of meat and dairy is obliterating rainforests and must be tackled by Government investment in building a healthy British farming sector, according to a new report released today by Friends of the Earth.
calendar icon 16 December 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The report - ‘What's feeding our food?' - released today at the launch of the green group's new Food Chain campaign, reveals the true cost of the UK's dependence on imported soy to feed chickens, pigs and other livestock.

Grown as a source of protein to fuel quick growth and high yields among animals in British factory farms, soy plantations are devastating tropical rainforests and harming communities in South America.

Friends of the Earth's Food Chain campaign is calling on the Government to stop using taxpayers' money to prop up factory farms that cause deforestation, and instead support small UK farmers and help them to produce home grown animal feeds.

Clare Oxborrow, Friends of the Earth's Senior Food Campaigner, said: "Most people don't know that producing meat and dairy leads to more climate-changing emissions than every single plane, train and automobile on the planet - but the Government does.

"We need the Government to change the deal behind our meals and break the chain linking intensive meat and dairy production to forest destruction in South America.

"The Government must shift subsidies away from factory farming and make sure it makes economic sense to rear livestock on feeds that have been grown closer to home."

Key findings of the ‘What's feeding our food?' report include:

  • If current trends continue, soy farming and cattle ranching alone will destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest by 2050
  • 90 per cent of the South American Atlantic Forest - home to 20,000 plant species - has been destroyed, much of it for soy farming
  • Livestock production uses 70 per cent of the world's agricultural land
  • Globally, meat production is set to more than double from 2001 to 2050

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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