Indigenous people from Brazil, currently on an awareness tour of Europe, yesterday protested outside the building where the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on sustainability took place. The forum brings together heads of the largest food companies in the world, including Nestlé, Unilever, Cargill and Mondelēz.
“The industries you represent are part of what indigenous people have been suffering in Brazil. Everything is at stake: the Amazon forest, the climate, our survival,” said Sônia Guajajara, an indigenous leader who is leading the “Indigenous Blood: Not A Single Drop More” tour.
Since January, the number of invasions of indigenous territory has doubled and the number of attacks on aboriginal peoples has increased by 44% in relation to the same period in 2018, according to data from the indigenous council, Cimi. Invaders usually are heavily armed and their aim is to deforest and mine illegally.
During the peaceful protest, Greenpeace Germany displayed a tree trunk with the words “stop killing the forests’ to symbolize the burning that has been destroying the Amazon forest to make way for land-grabbers, agribusiness and illegal mining.
Gesche Jürgens, Greenpeace forests campaign manager, said “the industry needs to take responsibility for the impact they cause and stop purchasing from those who destroy the forest. European governments must legally force its industry to not sell products that violate humans rights and environmental regulations, or those who contribute to deforestation.
In 2010, CGF pledged to halt deforestation in the Amazon and set a 2020 final deadline. The goal was to set up a network of responsible commodity suppliers, especially livestock and soya, the two major sources of deforestation. However, the idea never really left the drawing board and failed to produce any results.