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UK supermarkets implicated in Amazon deforestation supply chain: report

13 / 05 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Cattle in the Brazilian Amazon. Image © Henrique Manreza courtesy of The Nature Conservancy May is not even half over, but it has already been a landmark month for environmental news: last week the United Nations IPBES issued its preliminary global assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, finding that humans in both the developed and developing world are now the biggest driver of biodiversity loss. This comes hot on the heels of the UK parliament declaring a “climate emergency,” along with increasing pressure applied on the EU to regulate commodities that cause deforestation. One major instigator of all these environmental emergencies: cows, lots of them, and meat producers. Cattle are a key driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America, responsible for between 60 to 80 percent of Amazon tree loss, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. A new report, also out in May, shines a spotlight on the UK and major European supermarkets that are potentially fueling illegal deforestation by doing business with Brazil’s cattle industry — particularly with beef producer, JBS. The retail chains continue to stock corned beef sourced from the firm which has been implicated in serious environmental and human rights abuses, according to UK investigative organization Earthsight. Buy beef from Brazil, and it’s difficult not to buy meat linked to JBS. The firm is one of the world’s largest food companies, and as a 2018 Chain Reaction Research report found, one of just three meatpacking companies (JBS, Minerva, and Marfrig) that control around 70…

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