CargillAs the new season kicks off Hereford United FC now sport a new logo emblasoned on the front of their shirts. It’s goodbye Sun Valley and hello Cargill. Of course Cargill have owned Sun Valley for a long time so the change is only cosmetic.

So what about Cargill? As many of us will be advertising them on our replica shirts we thought we’d have a little dig to see what this company is all about.

Cargill Inc. was founded in 1865 by Mr William Wallace Cargill. It is now the biggest privately owned company in the world with a turnover of $120.4 Billion (2008). They have their fingers in a variety of pies, mainly fishing, farming and agriculture.

One of their biggest pies is the production and export of soya beans used in animal feed. Unfortunately, Cargill have been burning large swaths of the Amazon rainforest in order to grow this soya. Environmental activists Earth First! have stated that “Cargill is expanding its soya plantations, displacing communities, food crops and destroying ecosystems. Destroying rainforests, and other biodiverse ecosystems, is one of the quickest ways of heating the planet.” In order to speed up their deforestation program Cargill have built a port in the heart of the Amazon to export their soya. Much of this is shipped to Liverpool and then on to Hereford where it makes up 25% of the feed that Sun Valley uses.

Cargill clearly don’t give a tom tit about the environment but human rights are pretty low down on their list of priorities as well.

In 2005 a law suit was issued against the company for its involvement in the trafficking, torture and forced labour of African children on cocoa farms. This was nothing new to Cargill who in 2004 commented on the use of child labour to pick their cotton in Uzbekistan saying “children who picked cotton did so to help their parents.” Oh, that makes it OK then does it?!

Maybe we shouldn’t have these animal abusing, child hating, forest burning company on our shirts after all. Perhaps Mr Turner should get on the phone to Westons Cider about a proper local sponsor we can be proud of!

For more info http://www.earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/21157

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