Europe's big meat and dairy firms accused of climate 'greenwash'

The study looked at 35 of the largest beef, pork, poultry and dairy companies, examining their possible climate plans and emissions from their supply chains, in particular livestock, a major emitter of greenhouse gases. PHOTO: REUTERS

Seven out of the 10 companies that the report tracked over time saw their climate footprint grow between 2016 and 2018.

The emissions of Irish beef producer ABP surged 45 per cent and Germany's Tonnies, which supplies Aldi, 30 per cent.

In dairy, French firms Danone and Lactalis saw their emissions climb 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively from 2015 to 2017, according to the research.

Of the 20 companies analysed, only four report emissions from their entire supply chain, IATP said, even though livestock production accounts for the lion's share of emissions.

And only three - Nestle, FrieslandCampina and ABP - commit to an overall reduction in livestock emissions.

The IATP was particularly critical of those companies that it said were looking to reduce the emissions per kilogram of meat or litre of milk - meaning their overall carbon footprint can grow if they expand production.

It said some firms touted regenerative farming practices aimed at creating healthier soils, but said companies "invest relatively little and offload the bulk of the cost and risk onto farmers".

Increasing exports also mean consumer behaviour within Europe is only part of the picture, it added.

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