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Noble Foods left with its pants down after Avara Food commitments.


Last week we saw possibly the first tangible action being taken by a polluter to save the River Wye. Avara Foods, the regions largest poultry producer confirmed to it’s farming partners in the region that poultry manure from its supply chain will no longer be sold as fertiliser within the Wye catchment. This is a significant step forward in campaign to Save the Wye and is thanks to the considerable and consistent pressure put on polluting producers by local and national campaign groups, including River Action. BUT, we have questions for Avara on its plans:

Where will the manure go instead? It’s vital that we don’t simply see the pollution problem passed onto other catchments.

What will Avara do to clean up its sh*t? It’s great to see that Avara might not be contributing the the further destruction of the River Wye, but what’s it going to do to clean up the mess already caused. The Wye is on the brink of collapse and needs urgent action to undo the damage already caused.


And now we’ve seen an admission of guilt from the top polluter of the Wye, it leaves other large scale producers caught squarely with their pants down, continuing to defecate into one of the UK’s most loved rivers. So we’ve written to the CEO of the UK’s largest egg producer, Noble Food demanding urgent clarification of what actions it is taking to mitigate pollution emissions from its supply chain in the catchment of the River Wye.

We’ve asked Noble Foods to:

  • Clarify what comparable mitigation plan is Noble Foods implementing across its supply chain to that announced by Avara Foods and by when will this plan be implemented.
  • Explain what on-going environmental assurance standards Noble Foods will be demanding of its supply chain.
  • Publish the assessments and recommendations made by the Wye and Usk Foundation, following the statement on Noble Foods’ website that the Wye and Usk Foundation has been engaged to “assess our supply farms and put mitigation measures in place that reduce the impact of farming on the water environment such as limiting phosphate run-off”.

It is now imperative that other major poultry suppliers active in the Wye Region, starting with Noble Foods, follow Avara’s lead and clarify their own plans to end the pollution blight that their business practices have inflicted on what is one of the UK’s most iconic and ecologically important rivers.

Charles Watson, River Actions Founder and Chair says:

“Given that even the largest poultry producer in the Wye Catchment is now openly admitting to the role the intensive poultry industry has played in the severe pollution of this magnificent river, it seems extraordinary that Noble Foods (the region’s second largest poultry-based agri-business) has yet to publish any credible plan to remove its chicken litter from the Wye Catchment. Also, Noble Foods faces even greater environmental responsibilities given that, as a free-range egg producer, the need to mitigate nutrient run-off from the open ranges of its supplier farms poses an even greater environmental challenge than those faced by the broiler sheds that comprise Avara’s supply chain. Nothing but the full disclosure that we have demanded in our letter to Noble Foods will suffice”

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