FunNature & AnimalDeforestation: Brazilian beef is banished by European supermarkets

Deforestation: Brazilian beef is banished by European supermarkets

We recently knew that Europe was responsible for 16% of the deforestation linked to global trade in the world through the importation of different raw materials, such as beef, coffee or wood.

Due to this, on November 17, 2021, the European Commission decided to present a draft regulation in which it promises to stop finding, in the European market, any product that has contributed both directly and indirectly to deforestation.

This would lead, according to Brussels, to a reduction of at least 31.9 million tons of carbon emissions per year. And, in addition, it would include products such as beef, wood, palm oil, cocoa, soy or coffee, which must have “zero deforestation” , verifiable through an adequate traceability system.

In this way, as we reported recently, if a ton of soybeans from Brazil, or a ton of palm oil arrives from Indonesia to a European port, and the buyer cannot prove that it does not belong to a recently deforested area, it simply could not enter the European market.

In this sense, in mid-December we learned that several large distribution groups, including Carrefour or Auchan, have committed to withdrawing certain meat products suspected of being directly linked to deforestation in the Amazon , even though Brazilian manufacturers claim to have preserved the environment.

This is an announcement made public by the NGO Mighty Earth, after the publication of an investigation by a group of journalists that would implicate groups such as JBS, Minerva or Marfrig.

This NGO accuses these manufacturers of participating in deforestation in certain regions of Brazil . And, in addition, it maintains that certain products, linked to deforestation, are already available in European markets, in the form of fresh meat, dried meat or jerky.

Due to this, already in Belgium, Carrefour decided to withdraw from its stores a reference of the Jack Link’s brand that manufactures part of its jerky in Brazil with JBS, especially after the report made public by the aforementioned NGO was known.

As Agathe Grossmith, director of Carrefour’s CSR Projects, pointed out, “we look at the origin of the products that we would have in other countries – if we find any – to make a similar decision if the case arises”.

In turn, Auchan had also initiated a similar procedure, for the recall of a Jack Link’s product in France. In fact, a few weeks ago he was investigating its origin. Of course, the group also remembers that it does not use beef of Brazilian origin for its private brands.

According to the NGO, the Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize has promised to “remove all Jack Link’s products from its shelves.” And it announces that there are also other initiatives of other large reproduction chains throughout Europe, such as Albert Heijn or Lidl in Country Countries, or Sainsbury’s and Princes in the United Kingdom, who would be doing everything possible to avoid selling. Brazilian beef whose producers are linked to deforestation actions.

According to Nico Muzi, director of Mighty Earth Europe, “these trade measures, as well as the new European legislation aimed at fighting imported deforestation, show that the noose is tightening the forest destroyers.”

Although Brazilian groups have vehemently rejected these accusations. In the case of JBS, considered the number one meat producer in the world, it indicated in a statement that it practiced a zero tolerance policy “for illegal deforestation.”

Specifically, he stated that he had set up a system of “satellite control of his providers” ten years ago. And that, therefore, it had already excluded “more than 14,000 farms” that did not meet its specifications.

The group considers that, today, it is not possible to “control suppliers in the same way”, but claims to have invested in a new “green platform” to obtain, by 2025, “a supply chain without the slightest trace of illegal deforestation ”.

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