Brazilian supermarkets ban beef linked to Amazon deforestation

mongabay.com
March 27, 2013



A group representing 2,800 Brazilian supermarkets has signed an agreement barring beef linked to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest from their shelves.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets signed the pact Monday with the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, whose actions in 2009 — namely the threat of multi-billion dollar fines — helped pressure grocery chains into demanding deforestation-free beef from the world's largest cattle producers. That pressure, which came at the same time as an intense Greenpeace campaign against major leather and beef buyers, eventually led the biggest players in the Brazilian cattle industry to sign a landmark accord to phase Amazon forest destruction out of their supply chains.

Fate of deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon until 2008
Fate of deforested land in the Brazilian Amazon until 2008
The new agreement obliges Brazilian supermarkets to reject meat from unknown origins, lending support to Brazil's certification system for cattle production. The system aims to improve transparency in commodity sourcing, while encouraging landowners to respect Brazil's environmental laws.

The move is significant because cattle ranching is the biggest direct driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. According to government data, more than 60 percent of land cleared in the Amazon rainforest ends up as cattle pasture.

Most cattle ranching in the Amazon is a low-productivity affair, with most operations averaging less than one head of cattle per hectare. Cattle ranching is commonly used as a vehicle for speculating on rising land prices.













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Brazilian supermarkets ban beef linked to Amazon deforestation.

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