Campaigners have urged the Competition & Markets Authority to look into Tesco’s green claims on Brazilian meat, which they claim go against the grocer’s anti-deforestation pledges and overall net zero strategy.
In its complaint, eco-campaign group Mighty Earth claimed Tesco had broken the Green Claims Code by continuing to sell Brazilian meat despite previous commitments to the contrary.
Among its claims, Mighty Earth said Tesco had recently sold Bridge Valley’s chicken tikka breast slices, which use chicken from Brazil. However, Tesco reiterated it did not source any of its meat from Brazil and said it had stocked the branded product in error.
“We were the first UK retailer to stop selling Brazilian meat due to the concerns we had over its links to deforestation, and we remain absolutely committed to eliminating deforestation from our supply chains,” said a Tesco spokesperson.
“The chicken product outlined by Mighty Earth is from a small, branded supplier and should not have been listed in our stores. We take our commitments extremely seriously, and have apologised for this case of genuine error, which has now been rectified.”
Activists also alleged Tesco had sourced some of its chicken from British producers whose supply chains were linked to illegal deforestation practices in the Amazon, which they said undermined the company’s claims to be an ”industry leader on zero-deforestation”.
An investigation by Mighty Earth and other NGOs earlier this year found Tesco’s chicken and pork suppliers – Pilgrims UK and Avara – both used Brazilian soy sourced by Cargill in their rearing process. Campaigners claimed the soy came from farms known to illegally clear land for their plantations.
Tesco has committed to source only soy that is verified as deforestation-free by 2025. It has also introduced enhanced sourcing standards for suppliers including third-party reporting and verification.
The supermarket said it continues to engage regularly with suppliers to push for positive change across their value chains.
Other alleged green claims code violations relate to Tesco’s plant-based alternatives performance and its failure to make public its Science Based Targets initiative-approved Net Zero by 2050 plan.