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Friday, September 30, 2011

Tesco unprepared to protect food security

Dear Andrew, 

Thank you for your reply to my email. Though I understand that you may find it difficult to comment on an issue as sensitive as this, it is not enough to state that that Tesco have a general policy of not making statements on these issues when your company has already made statements on biofuels. I refer you to the following:  

Terry Leahy said in the City Food Lecture (see

"A few years ago, governments offered subsidies to encourage farmers to plant biofuels, as a means of cutting carbon emissions. But by turning thousands of acres over to growing biofuels, forests were cleared and less land was available for other crops. The biofuels bonanza is estimated to account for 70 per cent of increase in corn prices and 40 per cent of the increase in soybean prices ."

"But the supermarket giant(Tesco)  tells ClimateChangeCorp it is now “reviewing the emerging evidence” about the impact of biofuels on food prices and the environment and may change its policy"

Tesco is clearly prepared to make statements on these issues - and we would therefore appreciate that you reconsider your position and make a clear statement on the impact that you perceive the move to biofuels by the aviation industry will have on your ability to maintain food supplies at affordable costs. As a measure of the importance of this, the move by the aviation industry will massively increase demand for biofuels far beyond current levels, which as Terry Leahy acknowledges, has already lead to food price rises. 

This email will be published on my blog.

We look forward to your reply.
Kevin Lister

--- On Fri, 30/9/11, Yeo, Andrew  wrote:

From: Yeo, Andrew
Subject: Biofuels in relation to Tesco
To: "Kevin Lister" , "Sarah Clayton"
Cc: "Gorrie, Angela Z"
Date: Friday, 30 September, 2011, 13:58

Kevin and Sarah,
Thank you for your respective emails on the response you are preparing to the consultation on the UK Government's sustainable aviation policy, and your request for a statement from Tesco.  We take our commitments to the environment very seriously, however we have a general policy not to make public statements of the sort you envisage, so we will not be able to contribute to your consultation response.
Best regards,  Andrew 

Andrew Yeo
Head of Supply Chain Carbon Reduction | Tesco plc
Mobile:  07957 805995

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Request to Tesco for Statement on Aviation Thrust to Biofuels.

Dear Andrew,

Following my previous email to Philip Clarke, I am writing to see if you are closer to being able to produce a statement regarding Tesco's position on the aviation industry's dangerous thrust towards Biofuels and the pressing danger it imposes on your company's ability to maintain food supplies to your customers.

So you fully understand the urgency, I enclose a press release from Thomson Airways who are already moving towards biofuel services. We also have a tight deadline of the 18th October to complete our submission to the Department of Transport on the Sustainable Aviation Consultation, and would request you statement by then at the latest. 

If you would like to speak to anyone for first hand and expert knowledge on these vital issues, please do not hesitate to contact me and this can be arranged. 


Kevin Lister,
mobile 07768 991063

--- On Mon, 26/9/11,  wrote:

Subject: Email to Philip Clarke
Date: Monday, 26 September, 2011, 9:07

Ref: 12101597

Dear Mr Lister

Thank you for your email addressed to Philip Clarke, our Chief Executive Officer. I have been asked to respond on his behalf. Please accept my apologies for the delay in doing so. 

I can see that you also sent your email to Hannah Clare, our former Climate Change Manager, and know a copy was then received by Andrew Yeo. Andrew is best placed to comment and will reply to you directly.  

Thank you for taking the time to bring your comments to attention of our Chief Executive.

Kind Regards

Angela Gorrie
Customer Service Executive

Tesco Logo

.................. Original Message .................. 

Received: 25/09/2011
Subject: Tesco support against massive aviation expansion of biofuels

Dear Philip, Hannah, 
I am currently preparing a submission for the government's consultation on sustainable aviation, see The submission that we make will be prepared with young people will therefore will represent those with the greatest stake in the global warming debate.

A key piece of the current aviation strategy is that aviation can become green and sustainable through extensive use of biofuels. 

However, this a very ill considered position which will have devastating implications for the environment and for food supplies. It will have direct implications for Tesco's ability to supply food to the population of this country and other other countries.  

Large scale biofuel production will require huge land grabs and will adversely impact food production, at a time when meeting world food demand is becoming more difficult due to rising population, climate change and peak oil. To achieve the goals of the aviation industry, an area the size of Europe would be needed.

In short the issues and implications are:

  • As food prices rise due to biofuel, the increasing number of people at subsistence levels in this country and abroad will be forced into total poverty leading to large scale social unrest and economic collapse.
  • Biofuel will lead to rapid and substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions due to the amount of land that has to be cleared and the subsequent loss of carbon sequestration 
  • All of these issues were predicted in the report that I prepared for Tesco in 2008 and all of these are now coming to pass.
However the situation is now far worse. Any chance that we have for making significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions have evaporated with the disaster at Fukishima which will stop the nuclear renascence in its paths and with the collapse of carbon capture and storage due to engineering and financial issues.We must now brace ourselves for the nightmare scenario of an overpopulated world with average temperature rises in excess of 4 deg C.

In these dire circumstances we would appreciate a statement from Tesco, as a major food retailer condemning the ill considered support that this government and others are giving the aviation industry to pursue biofuels which we can then incorporate into our submission.

Regards, Kevin Lister

Sunday, September 25, 2011

RAF Croughton March and Rally

This major U.S. communication base supports many US military bases in Europe and world wide war operations.

These include space communications, data links, guiding bombers, missile defence, diplomatic communications, and command, control and other war fighting functions.

A connected base is at Barford St John, near Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire. ‘RAF’ Croughton main gate is on the B4031, off the A43, 2 miles North of M40 junction 10, just South of Brackley, Northamptonshire.

Travel west on the B4031, past the main gate, turn left at mini-roundabout on eastern edge of Croughton village, and park at signed site, not at maingate. Starts 12.00 car park, along B4031 to Main Gate, return 3.30pm.

(Oxford Tea and Food tent together with a disabled toilet at main gate.)

No to U.S. Missile Defence! No Weapons in Space!

Minibus leaves St Giles, Oxford 10.45 & Oxford Rail station 11.00
Tickets £6.00 – pre booking essential – contact:-
01865 749459 /
Oxfordshire Peace Campaign