The Bidco Truth Coalition (BTC) an activist alliance from Eastern Africa, last week took to the streets of London to demonstrate against banks that do business with Bidco Africa. The activists highlighted the connection between global financial institutions, the Prince of Wales and widespread deforestation in Africa.
The Bidco Africa Program is funded among others, by Barclays and Standard Chartered Banks. The protestors picketed the London headquarters of Barclays and Standard Chartered, who they claim are funding Bidco Africa’s deforestation to make way for palm oil production in places like Uganda
Barclays and Standard Chartered Banks are members of the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI), which is a group of international banks convened to collectively direct capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development. The BEI is co-ordinate and supported by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) under the patronage of The Prince of Wales. There are eleven international banks that are currently members of the BEI, headquartered across Asia, Europe and North America: Barclays, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Banking Group, Northern Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Standard Chartered and Westpac.
Bidco Africa, which is accused of multiple human rights, labour, tax and environmental violations, has publically stated that it does business with Barclays, Standard Chartered, Citibank, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank.
Bidco owns an oil palm plantation that has deforested 18,000 acres of rainforest in Uganda, and also grabbed land from over 100 smallholder farmers.