Corporations pressing Brazil to curb deforestation


Sourcing of Amazon region beef has become a particular point of concern for Brazil’s international business partners. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Silva)

When JBS, the world’s leading beef exporter, vowed in September to ensure that the cattle it buys would not be raised on illegally deforested land, the Brazilian company was responding in part to pressure from environmental groups. But JBS also has felt considerable heat from a less likely quarter— Helsinki-based Nordea, one of Europe’s largest financial services groups. In late July, Nordea’s 220-billion-euro investment arm announced it would divest from JBS. It did so largely due to reports that JBS had been processing “laundered” cattle—livestock that was originally raised on ranches blacklisted for illegal Amazon land-clearing, then was transferred to approved ranches before being shipped to the meat-processing giant. JBS pledged last month to provide R$250 million (US$45 million) in Amazon conservation funding over five years and to install systems to digitally pinpoint the origin of all the cattle it buys by... [Log in to read more]

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