Timberland announces policy to avoid using leather produced by Amazon destruction

mongabay.com
July 29, 2009



Timberland, a maker of hiking boots and other footwear, today announced it would demand a moratorium on leather produced from newly deforested areas in the Amazon. The move is a direct response to pressure from Greenpeace, which last month released Slaughtering the Amazon, a report that linked some of the world's most prominent brands to illegal clearing of the Amazon rainforest.

Timberland says it will require its leather suppliers to commit to the moratorium on newly deforested areas in the Amazon. Greenpeace says the policy "makes Timberland the industry leader in environmentally and socially responsible Brazilian leather procurement."


Cattle herd in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
"Timberland has raised the bar for environmentally and socially responsible leather sourcing policies in the Amazon," said Lindsey Allen, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaigner. "It has taken an important step by not only committing to avoid leather from cattle raised in newly deforested areas, but by working with existing suppliers like Bertin, to move the Brazilian cattle sector toward supporting a moratorium on any new cattle expansion into the Amazon Rainforest."

Timberland's announcement comes a week after Nike and Geox made similar commitments to not source any leather from the Amazon "until deforestation for cattle expansion is halted," according to Greenpeace. Last month Brazil's three largest supermarket chains, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar, announced they would suspend contracts with suppliers found to be involved in Amazon deforestation.


Download: Slaughtering the Amazon
In the aftermath of the report, Bertin, the world's largest beef processor, saw its $90 million loan from the International Finance Corporation withdrawn, while BNDES, Brazil's development bank that funds many activities that drive Amazon deforestation, announced it will soon require processors to trace the origin of beef back to the ranch where it was produced in order to qualify for loans. Marfrig, the world's fourth largest beef trader and one of the firms named in the report, said last month it will no longer buy cattle raised in newly deforested areas within the Brazilian Amazon. Meanwhile a Brazilian federal prosecutor has filed a billion dollar law suit against the cattle industry for environmental damage. Firms that market rainforest-tainted meat may be subject to fines of 500 reais ($260) per kilo.

Cattle ranching accounts for 80 percent of Amazon deforestation and is therefore one of the largest drivers of global forest loss.





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mongabay.com (July 29, 2009).

Timberland announces policy to avoid using leather produced by Amazon destruction.

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