(Bloomberg) -- The UK government will introduce legislation to ensure supermarkets remove products linked to illegal deforestation from their shelves, similar to legislation recently enacted in the European Union. 

Businesses with a global annual turnover of £50 million ($62.6 million) and using over 500 tons of regulated commodities a year, would be banned from using them if sourced from land used illegally. Palm oil, cocoa, beef, leather and soy will be covered by the proposed legislation. 

“Globally, we lose forests equivalent to the size of about 30 football pitches every minute,” Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said in a statement Saturday. “It’s why we are cleaning up supply chains to make sure that big businesses in the UK aren’t responsible for illegal deforestation.”

Read more: How Europe Aims to Protect Rainforests Through Trade

Retaining forests is seen as a key to fighting climate change, and protecting biodiversity and endangered animals. In the UK, the so-called Environment Bill has been in the works since 2020. The key difference with the legislation passed by the EU this year is that it will ban the trade of goods grown on all newly deforested land anywhere in the world. The UK’s proposed law will target only illegal destruction of forest land.

 

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