Brazilian Supermarkets Require Deforestation-Free Meat

The major supermarket chains stepped forward to protect the rain forest. A crucial step. WalMart, Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar will work with certificates of origin for beef which they offer on the shelves of their stores. Recently, Greenpeace released a study showing that the biggest slaughterhouses in Brazil, which receive financial funds from the BNDES (Brazilian Development Bank) and other public banks, buy from farmers in illegally deforested areas. The NGO studied the entire distribution chain. (see also my yesterday’s post: The Folly of an Economy Going Against the Environment)
Last week in an interview with Míriam Leitão the president of Abras, Sussumu Honda, said that the supermarket chains were taking the denunciations very seriously and would take a decision. Decision taken! The supermarkets published the following statement:

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Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar suspend purchases from farms involved in the deforestation of the Amazon, and will work with audits and certificates of origin.

In a meeting of the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Abras), on June 8, the three largest supermarket chains in the country, Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Pão de Açúcar decided to suspend purchases from farms involved in the deforestation of the Amazon. The action is a repudiation of practices condemned by Greenpeace. The supermarket sector, by means of Abras, can’t associate itself with the denounced wrongdoings and will act vigorously.

The position defined by the supermarkets includes notification of the slaughterhouses, suspension of purchases from farms denounced by the federal public prosecutor of the State of Pará and the requirement of Certificates of Origin attached to the invoice/transport bill. As an additional measure, the three supermarket chains require an independent and internationally recognised audit to ensure that the products they sell are not from deforested areas of the Amazon.

This is a joint sectorial response to the report published by Greenpeace earlier this month and the subsequently civil action by the federal public prosecutor of Pará, who sent a recommendation to the large supermarket chains and 72 other buyers of animal products so that they should recede buying meat products originating from the destruction of the rainforest. *
end of statement

At least some companies take their ‘social responsibility’ seriously.

Photos from top to bottom: Hypermarché Carrefour Pinheiros – São Paulo – Meatproduct section; WalMart’s Nacional store Brazil and Carrefour Bairo Santo Amaro – São Paulo. – Courtesy: WalMart and Carrefour

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