Big Meat in the FT

I was left confused by “Big Meat: facing up to the demands for sustainability.” Surely this is not the same FT which so relentlessly pursued Wirecard?

The meat industry, as presented in the article, seems combative, not reflective. Cattle heiress Josie Angus tells us official sustainability reports are “apologies to ‘virtue signallers,’ before using climate sceptic talking point: “Our climate has always changed.”

It is unclear what the meat industry is facing up to, because it certainly isn’t sustainability. The article reports that it has been 15 years since the emissions case against the meat industry was made, but 3/4ths of the industry still “have not declared or put in place reduction targets.” The article even quotes an academic saying most of the industry has no plan, and won’t have one “unless people say this is real.”

Is that still in question?

What we have instead is a billionaire meat heir – educated at Harvard AND Stanford – who has been given the sustainability officer sinecure at his family’s company.

Nor is it only the industry’s intentions that are given such a gentle hearing. Brazilian meatpacker JBS, which stands accused of deforesting the Amazon, has pledged to use a digital ledger to clean up its supply chain; a technology the FT itself is skeptical about.

It is good the meat industry is slowly waking up to its environmental impact, but readers might be better served by a more discerning tone next time.

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