River Action targets agri businesses in project to stop pollution

New group has actually written to Noble Foods near River Wye, where chemical overflows are stated to be triggering major damage

The heads of a few of the biggest farming providers are being targeted in a campaign to stop their activities polluting rivers.

River Action, a brand-new group focusing on the state of UK rivers, is releasing its very first project by writing to the president of Noble Foods, among the greatest egg manufacturers running around the River Wye, where pollution from increasing varieties of free range poultry farms is stated to be seriously damaging the river.

The Guardian reported last week that there have actually been no prosecutions or fines released to farms by the Environment Agency (EA) in spite of 243 infractions of legislation created to curb the farming pollution of waterways in England.

River Action’s creator and chairman, Charles Watson, stated: “It remains in this absence of effective guideline that we have actually released River Action. Specifically, we believe that the time has come for the large agri-businesses that procure product from our farmers and provide our merchants to assume their reasonable share of the duty for tidying up farming pollution. These are typically big profitable companies– who without exception proclaim publicly their dedication to accountable and sustainable business practices. River Action means to hold them to account.”

The scale of pollution in English rivers from the farming overflow of chemicals and sewage pollution was exposed last year when just 14 % of them were ranked as remaining in a healthy condition. In 2020, for the first time, no river achieved good chemical status, recommending that pollution from chemicals and farming is having a substantial impact on river quality.

Sewage wastewater discharges by public utility into rivers represent damage to 36% of waterways, and overflow from agricultural markets is responsible for 40% of the damage, according to the EA.

The Wye is feared to be one of the worst-affected rivers. A report by the Campaign for Rural England in 2019 stated there were 500 farms with a total of 1,420 extensive poultry sheds, consisting of over 44 million birds around the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Radnorshire, raising concerns about pollution of water systems.

Natural Resources Wales has actually released data that mentions that 60% of the Wye remains in environmental crisis.

Noble Foods provides eggs to leading grocery stores under the brand name Delighted Egg Co. In a letter to Duncan Everett, CEO of Noble Foods, River Action is asking for information of the mitigation the company takes to prevent “highly harmful nutrient overflows” into the river and the quantity invested in such programs.

Previous Conservative environment minister Richard Benyon, who is on the board of advisers of River Action, in addition to Guardian author George Monbiot and Feargal Sharkey, stated:” Urgent action is required to reduce the impacts of farming and food production on our rivers before it is far too late. As consumers and investors end up being increasingly environmentally conscious, food companies need to step up and take duty for the practices of those in their supply chain.”

A spokesperson for Noble Foods stated: “We take our obligation to secure the environment extremely seriously and we have actually been working in close partnership with the Wye-Agri Food Partnership and the Usk and Wye Rivers Trust soil disintegration group to develop long-term solutions to this complex scenario that impacts the entire farming industry. It is our aim to deliver a plan that can be successfully implemented across the farming sector.”

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