Make you Fink Good this Friday

If you buy your beef from big corporate supermarkets like Tesco, the chances are you helping to destroy the Amazon rainforest.

Tesco supplier accused of contributing to Amazon rainforest destruction

Greenpeace says meat products supplied by Brazilian firm JBS come from ranches in illegally deforested lands

Cattle at an illegal settlement in northern Brazil: such ranches are the leading source of rainforest destruction in the Amazon. Photograph: Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images

British consumers are unwittingly contributing to the devastation of the Amazon rainforest by buying meat products from Tesco, according to Greenpeace.

The environmental group says in a report that canned beef from the supermarket chain has been found to contain meat from ranches that have been carved out of the lands of indigenous peoples, and farms the Brazilian government believes have been sited in illegally deforested lands.

The allegations stem from an 18-month investigation carried out by Greenpeace into the practices of JBS, a big Brazilian supplier of meat and cattle byproducts. The campaigning group claims it unearthed evidence of serious violations of the company’s own ethical code, and those of companies it supplies, including Tesco.

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This has been known since this June 2009 article:

Supermarket suppliers ‘helping destroy Amazon rainforest’

• Meat companies sued over Amazon deforestation
• Accused firms supplying Tesco, Asda and M&S

Brazilian authorities investigating illegal deforestation have accused the suppliers of several UK supermarkets of selling meat linked to massive destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian firms that supply Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer are among dozens of companies named by prosecutors, who are seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation.

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So it’s not new news.

This week in Brazil steps were taken by the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets to help rectify the domestic use of such meat…

Brazil supermarkets ‘to avoid Amazon meat’

Farmers use fire to clear land for cattle, destroying huge swathes of rainforest in the Amazon region.

The main group representing supermarkets in Brazil says it will no longer sell meat from cattle raised in the rainforest.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, which has 2,800 members, hopes the deal will cut down on the illegal use of rainforest for pasture.

Deforestation in the Amazon has slowed over the past years but invasion of public land continues to be a problem.

Huge swathes have been turned into land for pasture and soy plantations.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Abras) signed the agreement with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office in the capital, Brasilia.

‘More transparent’

Public Prosecutor Daniel Cesar Azeredo Avelino said consumers would benefit from the deal.

“The agreement foresees a series of specific actions to inform the consumer about the origin of the meat both through the internet and at the supermarkets,” he said.

Mr Avelino said a more transparent labelling system would also make it easier for consumers to avoid buying meat from the Amazon and make it harder for shops to sell items from producers who flouted the law.

He said he would now work towards reaching a similar deal with smaller shops.

Under the deal, supermarkets have promised to reject meat from areas of the Amazon where illegal activities take place, such as illegal logging and invasion of public land, Mr Avelino said.

There is currently no deadline for the implementation of the measures, but Mr Avelino said they would be adopted “soon”.

According to the pressure group Greenpeace, expansion of the cattle industry in the Amazon is the single biggest cause of deforestation in the region.

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If Brazilians can take appropriate measures, the big corporate supermarkets across the globe can do the same.

And, you, the consumer, can also play your part and demand to know the origin of your beef.

Do this, and you will be doing your part.

 

 

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Another way, stop eating beef.

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    • >Alex, don’t talk dirty! 🙂

      But yes, that is an option, but the other side of the coin is that the same rainforest is also be cleared to grow soya and other crops, so being a veggie doesn’t solve the issue either.

      AV

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  2. Big corporations can, but don’t care.

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