This report, commissioned by UK wildlife charities WWF-UK and RSPB, finds that an area of overseas land equivalent to 88% of the UK’s land area is needed to supply the UK’s demand for beef and leather, cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber, soy and timber. This area is increasing over time.
The report notes that some of the increase in land area required is because of UK policy shifts, such as greater demand for wood as a source of renewable energy. For the seven commodities mentioned, the total land footprint is 21.3 MHa, 62% of which is for timber and pulp & paper. Despite this, current UK legislation does not require overseas impacts on biodiversity to be monitored or prevented.