The dirty business with barbecue coal

Barbecuing – For many Germans, it is their favourite hobby. As a result, no other country in the EU consumes more charcoal than Germany. Every year we barbecue 250,000 tonnes of charcoal. But only a fraction of this charcoal comes from German forests.

Johannes Zahnen from WWF has been fighting for more transparency and responsibility in the barbecue industry for years. He knows: A large part of the barbecue charcoal comes from highly problematic countries such as Nigeria, Paraguay and Ukraine. Here, primeval and natural forests are sometimes illegally felled and processed into the charcoal that ends up in our supermarkets. There is no mention of this on the bags. And since there are no legal import restrictions on charcoal, the state does nothing to ban charcoal from illegal logging.

Zahnen wants to change that. He is collecting evidence of everything that is going wrong in the industry to present to the EU Commission in Brussels. His hope: trade restrictions on coal.

We accompany him on his research, which takes us from Germany to Africa and via Poland to Ukraine.

Broadcast date Montag, 02. Juli 2018 um 23:45 Uhr im Ersten
Length 45 Min.
Written and directed by: Johannes Bünger, Vivien Pieper
Aufnahmeleitung: Lilia Schulz
Camera: André Krüger, Johannes Bünger
Editor: Imke Koseck
Editorial advisor: Dirk Neuhoff ( NDR)
Line producer: Ulrike Schwerdtner
Producer: Martina Sprengel
Filming location: Nigeria, Ukraine, England, Frankreich, Belgien, Deutschland