It was a turbulent morning in Toronto for one of the world's biggest fast-food owners. A Toronto Greenpeace protest saw activists lobby outside of the global headquarters of Restaurant Brands International on Wednesday, September 18. RBI is the owner of several popular franchises including Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes Chicken.
"The Amazon is still on fire and fast food companies like Burger King can't stay silent anymore. So, today, we are delivering a message directly to the company’s owner in downtown Toronto," said leading activist Shane Moffatt, according to Greenpeace Canada.
The activists made their way inside RBI headquarters to deliver a giant sign which read 'Don't Flame Grill the Amazon.'
"These fires are no accident. The forests are being deliberately set on fire to open up more land for cattle and industrial agriculture. A company like Burger King that purchases meat from Brazil can't continue business as usual while the biggest rainforest in the world burns down for cattle farms. That's why we are taking action today at the owner's headquarters right here in Canada," Moffatt added.
RBI released a sustainability report back in 2017 pledging its commitment to ensuring the supplier stopped clearing primary forest of disturbing lands with a high conservation value by 2030. "As a company with global operations and a complex supply chain, we know we have a key role to play in promoting sustainable business practices," company spokesman Patrick McGrade told Reuters at the time.
Greenpeace recently launched a global campaign in response to the Amazon fires. The organization is calling upon Burger King, McDonald's, and KFC to reject Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's anti-environmental agenda and goods linked to destruction of the Amazon.
Over a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on these companies since the fires first made headlines back in August.
"Fast food companies need to break the silence and speak out against the destruction of the Amazon and forests across Brazil. Forests in Brazil are being cleared to produce meat and soya, and fast food giants are some of the biggest buyers of these products. Even chickens, pigs, and cattle raised in other countries are fed on soya, directly from Brazil," a statement on the petition reads.
Narcity has reached out to both Restaurant Brands International and Greenpeace Canada for comment.