Published on October 6th, 2009 | by Derek Markham1
World’s Largest Meat Exporter Pledges No Cattle from Deforested Amazon Areas
The world’s largest exporter of meat products announced that it has pledged to no longer purchase cattle raised in deforested areas of the Amazon after September 23, 2009. The company, JBS-Friboi, is also one of the largest companies in Brazil, which makes their decision very prominent to other businesses and sets a standard for other sustainability efforts in South America.
JBS-Friboi also said that it will remove any farms in the area involved with slave labor or raising cattle on indigenous people’s lands or protected areas in the Amazon. The company will implement a system within six months for the traceability of the suppliers goods, and will use the system to exclude any farms involved in deforestation from its direct supply chain.
“This is good news for the Amazon and the global climate. By the sheer force of its size, the commitment of JBS-Friboi to stop destroying the Amazon will help reduce the pressure that the cattle sector has been exerting on the forest. It will also force thousands of its suppliers in the Northern region of Brazil to strictly follow the environmental and land tenure legislation, and to respect the biodiversity and the rights of the indigenous people in the region.” – Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Amazon
JBS-Friboi will extend the same monitoring system to its indirect suppliers within two years, which includes the farms selling young cattle to ranchers directly feeding the meat processing plants.
In June, Greenpeace released its report “Slaughtering the Amazon“, which directly influenced the decision of international buyers of meat and meat by-products to exclude products connected to Amazon deforestation. Two other big Brazilian meat processors, Bertin and Marfrig, committed to zero deforestation before JBS-Friboi did.
With the recent acquisition of Bertin by JBS-Friboi, the company now has the capacity for processing 40,000 head of cattle each day in Brazil, so the decision to exclude cattle from deforested areas in the Amazon will have a huge impact on deforestation.
“This move will help to reduce Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions. Next, we need to see a similar commitment from President Lula and other world leaders to measures to end global deforestation at the Copenhagen climate summit in December.” – Astrini