PROTESTERS will gather at a Hereford Tesco supermarket this week as they continue their campaign against intensive chicken farming.

Marches Climate Action (a subdivision of Marches Extinction Rebellion) will gather at Hereford's Bewell Street Tesco to hand out postcards to shoppers on January 14.

A spokesperson for the campaigners said they are taking action "as part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the disastrous effect that Tesco’s chicken supply-chain is having on the river Wye".

Campaigners claim Tesco is failing to live up to its environmental promises and said they will be handing out postcards giving shoppers an opportunity to sign and hand in to the store a message asking Tesco to take action.

Paul Healy, 61, from Bromyard, who will be at the protest, said: ”It is appalling the effect that the disposal of chicken manure, and the phosphates it contains, is having upon the river Wye. Tesco were made aware of this last year by the group River Action but have done nothing. The truth is that cheap chicken ain’t cheap. It is costing the people of Herefordshire and beyond enormous environmental damage, as well as threatening our tourism and leisure industries. It is simply unacceptable that Tesco should continue to profit from this, whilst claiming to be environmentally friendly.”


Last year, Marches Climate Action targeted local poultry processor Avara which supplies Tesco, with a protest action at the factory and at Tesco, and by organising some 500 letters sent to its chief executive. The letter calls on Avara to prevent chicken manure entering the Wye, to downsize its operations in the Wye catchment, and to cease using Brazilian soya as chicken feed.

This letter is still available for signing along with more detailed information at, the campaigners said.

Marches Climate Action said Avara did not respond to the letter and has given no indication it will downsize.

The campaign group said the company has instead accepted limited liability and has proposed an anaerobic digester to divert chicken waste from the river, but that Marches Climate Action does not see this as in any way addressing the root cause of the problem, which campaigners say is simply too much intensive poultry in the Wye catchment.

Targeting Tesco to clean up its poultry supply chain is another step towards pressuring Avara and its parent companies Cargill and Faccenda to take their environmental responsibilities seriously, a campaign spokesperson said.

Tesco has previously said that it continues to work with suppliers to protect and maintain water quality in the region.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said after a previous protest in Hereford in July: "Protecting and maintaining water quality and biodiversity in our supply chains is an important priority within our supplier partnerships, and we’re committed to playing our part in ensuring the protection of the river Wye, alongside other actors across the food industry.

"Together with our partners WWF, we have directly funded the work of the Wye and Usk Foundation to tackle water pollution in the area.

"They work directly with our suppliers on implementing nature-based solutions, including tree planting, as well as supporting farmers to test soils and implement on-farm best practice that all help reduce pollution in the river Wye.

"We continue to engage with suppliers and stakeholders across all agricultural sectors in the region as part of the Wye Agri-Food Partnership and have encouraged all of our suppliers to sign up to the Water Roadmap as part of the Courtauld Commitment 2030, which looks to reduce water pollution in key sourcing regions, including the Wye and Usk catchment.”

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