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This June, the fires raging in the Amazon were the highest in 13 years – and they’ll only get worse over the coming months. More and more trees have been chopped down, and fires are now being lit to clear the ground. The lungs of our planet are burning again.  

Now, our new research shows that the UK could be adding fuel to fires like these around the world. We need to make sure that goods coming into the UK and being sold to us aren’t part of the problem. And we can. 

Right now, we’re at a crossroads: our Government are currently deciding on new trade deals as we leave the EU. These could either create a commitment to nature around the world, or open the floodgates for products with lower environmental standards. If the UK starts by striking trade deals that could reward unsustainable agriculture in the US, it will set the wrong precedent for trade with countries like Brazil. 

And if we allow more destruction to nature, it will take us closer to catastrophic climate change and increase the risk of future pandemics. But we have a choice. We can be a crucial part of the solution.  

If enough of us speak up, we can make sure the products we import through these new trade deals, like soy, beef and palm oil, aren’t fuelling fires in the Amazon or destroying nature.  

We need to let our leaders know that we don’t want our trade to destroy the Amazon. Write to the people who have the power to put these promises in law – the Secretary of State for International Trade and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

amazing have signed so far: help us get to 70,000!

Dear Secretary of State, 

The transformation of our food and farming sector is underway – world-leading improvements that will help to halt and reverse the decline of nature. However, all of this would be fatally undermined if a trade deal allowed imports that are produced to much lower standards, through farming systems that pollute rivers, poison the air and destroy nature.  I am deeply concerned that poor trade deals could put precious places like the Amazon at ever greater risk.

In your manifesto you committed ‘In all trade negotiations’ to ‘not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards’. That commitment is welcome – but it must be put into law to make sure that our health and our planet can never be used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations. 

The evidence is clear: the destruction of natural habitats and the intensification of agriculture are two of the main causes of diseases crossing from animals to humans. Each of these has the potential to cause the next pandemic – and the risks are escalating with the rise of megafarms which, poorly managed, can be breeding grounds for disease.

Please don’t allow us to be complicit in the next pandemic, or the destruction of nature, through bad trade deals. Protect our health and that of our planet by making it law that food that doesn’t meet our standards doesn’t end up on our shelves. As we begin to emerge from this global health crisis, we need to rebuild towards a safer and more resilient future. 

Kind Regards

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Right now, we’re at a crossroads: our Government are currently deciding on new trade deals as we leave the EU. These could either create a commitment to nature around the world, or open the floodgates for products with lower environmental standards. If the UK starts by striking trade deals that could reward unsustainable agriculture in the US, it will set the wrong precedent for trade with countries like Brazil. 

And if we allow more destruction to nature, it will take us closer to catastrophic climate change and increase the risk of future pandemics. But we have a choice. We can be a crucial part of the solution.  

If enough of us speak up, we can make sure the products we import through these new trade deals, like soy, beef and palm oil, aren’t fuelling fires in the Amazon or destroying nature.  

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