landscape photo of fields

Factory farming giant JBS must come clean on emissions at COP27

Press release

World Animal Protection is calling on meat producing giant JBS to come clean and reveal details of its plans to end deforestation in animal feed sourcing at the ongoing COP27 in Egypt.

If JBS’s climate net zero commitment is to mean anything at all, it has to let sunlight in on all its emissions.

The animal welfare NGO wants the world’s biggest meat processing company to commit to full transparency and disclose all its emissions right across its huge global supply chain.

Research released by Reporter Brazil for World Animal Protection last month linked JBS to several instances of deforestation in sourcing soy and corn, which is exported around the world to feed animals suffering on cruel factory farms, the soy and corn is not used for human consumption.

JBS was among those corporate players who used the opening of COP27 to announce the Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5 degrees Celsius - the target temperature limit set by the Paris Agreement to urgently slow global warming.

But while the roadmap acknowledges soy production as one of the top three commodities responsible for climate-changing deforestation, it fails to take the action required – an immediate end to destructive land clearance.

Instead, the road map had given the green light to allow JBS and others to continue deforestation until the end of 2025.

Speaking from COP27, Kelly Dent, World Animal Protection’s Global Director of External Engagement said:

If JBS’s climate net zero commitment is to mean anything at all, it has to let sunlight in on all its emissions.

JBS insists that it can increase production of meat to feed a growing global population – but it does not explain how - and ignores the fact that industrial meat production fuels climate change, animal suffering, biodiversity loss and threatens food security.

This is not the time for a fudge. If its climate net zero commitment is to mean anything at all, we need JBS to urgently come clean on its plan to end deforestation in animal feed sourcing and commit to full transparency in disclosing its emissions right across its supply chain.

World Animal Protection is urging government leaders attending COP27 to halt the building of new factory farms - one of the biggest threats to the planet’s ecosystems.

World Animal Protection’s recently released Climate Change and Cruelty report revealed the true extent of unsustainable deforestation caused by factory farming – a silent climate culprit. When deforestation to grow feed crops – especially soya - for global trade is considered, this doubles the overall climate change impact of factory farmed meat in the Netherlands and increases the impact by more than one and a half times in China.

Factory farms not only inflict inhumane suffering on billions of animals - their intensive, cruel methods lead to the destruction of habitats and release climate changing emissions into the atmosphere, worsening heat waves, wildfires, floods and droughts, and undermining food nutrition and security.

Some of the many environmental consequences of factory faming include:

  • Methane from pig farming alone represent up to one-quarter of all pork meat emissions.
  • Fossil-fuel intensive pesticides and fertilisers are poured into animal feed crops, resulting in water and soil pollution, causing serious human health problems.
  • Massive amounts of animal manure contaminated with superbugs - because antibiotics are overused on farms to compensate for stressful and inhumane practices - are spread on fields, while manure storage generates methane, a greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere with damaging consequences.
  • Energy-hungry processed animal feed is transported to factory farms around the world, using significant carbon-based energy, while factory farms demand large amounts of fossil-based power for heating, lighting and ventilation.

As the Climate Change and Cruelty report exposes, factory farming in the world’s biggest economies discharge disproportionate emissions with a global impact, affecting countries and communities in underdeveloped areas like Africa – even though they do not contribute to the problem.

To address this injustice, governments should promote humane and sustainable food systems, including moving to higher welfare for farmed animals, promoting a reduction of meat consumption and an increase in protein-rich, plant-based diets.

World Animal Protection is holding events at COP27:

  • On Friday 11th November, 16.45-17.30 (Egypt time) at the Food4Climate Pavilion, Global Programme Director Kelly Dent will explain the true impact of factory industrial farming.
  • On Monday 14th November, 18.30 (Egypt time)  at Akhenaten, Zone B, Side Event Building 1,   World Animal Protection will present transitioning agriculture systems for sustainability and climate resilience. This will include an account from Naira Hofmeister, a journalist with Reporter Brazil who partnered with World Animal Protection to uncover the evidence linking JBS to several instances of recent animal feed related deforestation.

Note to editors:

Facts from the report the Climate Change and Cruelty Report:

  • The 4 biggest factory farming markets of the world are China, Brazil, US and Europe.
  • Meat consumption rates in 2020 for the four-factory farming hot spots are already high. Europeans consume around 33kg of pork per person per year and 23kg of chicken. Brazilians eat 41kg of chicken and 12kg of pork each year, US people eat 23kg of pork and 50kg of chicken and in China, pork is the most consumed meat, with 26kg per person and 14kg of chicken.
  •  The climate impacts of factory farmed chicken alone in these factories farming hot spots is the equivalent of driving almost 29 million cars for a year.
  • Animal feed production is the dominant contributor to factory farming’s climate impact.
  • A million kilograms of factory farmed chicken need almost 4.3 million square metres of land dedicated to animal feed, while a million kilograms of factory farmed pork needs around 5.8 million square metres of land dedicated to animal feed. That’s around the size of 672-906 football fields which is an area that can accommodate up to 1.45 million trees.
  • For every 100 calories of crops fed to farmed animals, only 17-30 calories end up feeding people2. Meat and dairy provide only 18% of overall calories and 37% of protein for humans, but they use 83% of farmland3. It is far better to grow crops that feed humans directly through mostly plant-based diets.
  • Methane from the manure of factory farmed pigs accounts for 21% of overall pork emissions for Netherlands, 22% for US, and 24% for Brazil.
  • By 2040, China’s per person annual consumption of chicken is expected to have increased from current levels to 15kg and pork to 31kg. Increases in chicken consumption are also expected in Brazil, US and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)4 countries at 43kg, 53kg and 25kg respectively. For pork, consumption may reach 13kg for Brazil, 24kg for the US and 32kg for OECD countries.
  • Increases in pork and chicken consumption will result in notable increases in climate and environmental impacts.
  • Conversely, reducing pork per person by 50% by 2040 would result in a 41% decrease in climate change impacts from pork consumption in China, 54% for the EU, 44% for Brazil and 43% for the US13.
More About