Spring 2014 Poultry Press NEXT
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Urge Bill and Melinda Gates NOT to Support KFC in Africa! Photo of chicken breeding farm in Africa
A chicken breeding farm in Africa

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is spreading through the African continent like the plague with more than 750 locations in sub-Saharan Africa alone. It is commandeering huge industrial chicken farms to supply a growing African middle-class market for KFC products. Soy is a main ingredient in processed chicken feed due to its high protein content. To help small farmers in Africa get in on the game, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $8 million in 2010 to TechnoServe, a nonprofit partner of Cargill, the world’s largest soy producer and a global poultry corporation.

A January 10, 2014 article in Mother Jones – “How Bill Gates Is Helping KFC Take Over Africa” – explains that a primary market for Africa’s soybean growers will be the KFC supply chain. By giving money to TechnoServe, the Gates Foundation is helping to convert small farms and local diets in Africa to a factory-farm economy featuring industrially-raised chickens fed industrially-produced soybeans. Despite a professed commitment to wholesome nutrition and ethical investing, in 2012 the Gates Foundation gave nearly a million dollars to Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.

To grow, KFC and other fast food chains require a steady supply of chickens conforming to their model of producing abnormally large, fast-growing birds who are fed a mash made of soybeans, corn, fishmeal and rendered animal remains that are typically loaded with pathogens. Mother Jones reports that both the Gates Foundation and the U.S. government are funding companies to build “value chains” – business relationships that link small farmers in Africa to “sellers of agricultural inputs like fertilizer on one side, and big buyers of corn and soy on the other. Those buyers turn these commodities into feed, and then sell it to large chicken wholesalers who are staking their future growth on supplying KFC’s African expansion.”

This Gates Foundation investment activity contradicts Bill Gates’s website article, Bill Gates: Food Is Ripe for Innovation, where he wrote in 2013: “There’s plenty of protein and necessary amino acids in plants, including the world’s four major commodity crops – rice, maize, wheat and soy. The problem is that instead of feeding these crops to people, we’re feeding most of them to livestock. Fortunately, there are thousands of plant proteins in the world, and many of them have yet to be explored for use in the production of meat alternatives.”

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Please contact the Gates Foundation. Urge Bill and Melinda Gates to uphold the Gates Foundation’s commitment to plant-based agriculture and nutrition, and to honor its claim not to invest in “companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that they find egregious.” KFC, Burger King, Walmart and other companies the Gates Foundation Trust is supporting fit the definition of EGREGIOUS. These companies mistreat workers. They treat chickens and other animals abominably. They devastate the African and South American rainforests and contribute to exorbitant health care costs, eating disorders and poor nutrition throughout the world. The Gates Foundation should oppose the global expansion of industrialized chicken farming. Growing soybeans to be fed to tens of billions of chickens for people to eat is vastly more wasteful and environmentally destructive than growing soybeans for 7 billion people to eat directly in the form of vegan food products. Request a response to your concerns.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
500 Fifth Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-709-3100

Spring 2014 Poultry Press NEXT