Climate Change

Published on June 24th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor


World’s Fourth Largest Cattle Beef Trader Takes Initiative to End Amazon Destruction

Want proof that Greenpeace activist campaigns actually make a difference? Look no further than this week’s announcement from Marfrig, the world’s fourth largest beef trader, that it has put a moratorium on buying cattle raised in newly deforested areas in the Amazon.


Cattle Ranching in the Amazon

Greenpeace’s Slaughtering the Amazon campaign tied a slew of global firms to leather and meat from illegal farms in the Amazon. Among the companies named were Bertin, JBS, and yes, Marfrig. Instead of arguing the claim and risking the loss of clients, Marfrig chose to quickly take steps to end deforestation.

The beef trading giant is identifying farms guilty of deforestation with help from Blairo Maggi, the Governor of the Brazilian Amazon state of Mato Grosso. Maggi is pushing farmers to map their properties. Ultimately, satellite data of the forest cover will become available for companies to identify farmers engaging in illegal practices.

Marfrig’s moratorium was a smart move in more ways than one–the World Bank recently canceled a $90 million loan to Bertin because of its involvement in Amazon deforestation.

Now that the company has pledged to curb forest destruction, let’s hope other beef traders follow suit. According to Greenpeace, tropical deforestation accounts for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so it will take more than just Marfrig to make a difference.

[Via Greenpeace, Reuters]

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