Head of London-listed company linked to illegal clearing of Peru rainforest | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Head of London-listed company linked to illegal clearing of Peru rainforest

The CEO of a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, that aims to become the world’s largest producer of cocoa, is responsible for illegally clearing swathes of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon, according to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

The website for the Cayman Islands-based company, United Cacao, implies the company could be a force for positive change in the chocolate business, mostly produced in West Africa, stating that it “seeks to provide a clear path forward for ethically-produced cacao to the world marketplace”.

But the EIA investigation alleges the company’s founder and CEO, Dennis Melka, has illegally deforested about 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) of mostly primary rainforest. It says he is looking to expand his agricultural plantations by acquiring 450 units of rural private property in the Amazon, in addition to requesting at least 96,192 additional hectares of public land from the Peruvian government.

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