Report links beef suppliers to 2020 Pantanal fires


Untrammeled cattle ranching has despoiled once-rich natural habitats in areas such as Mato Grosso state’s Serra de Ricardo Franco State Park (top), and has spurred land-clearing fires that in many cases escaped control in the nation’s Pantanal region last year (index). (Photos by Ednilson Aguiar and Rogerio Florentino, Greenpeace)

Brazil’s three largest beef processors have bought cattle from ranches linked by satellite data to 2020 fires that destroyed a third of the Pantanal, one of the world’s largest inland wetlands, according to a Greenpeace International report published this month. The report, “Making Mincemeat of the Pantanal,” scrutinizes purchases by JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, and its two top Brazilian competitors, Marfrig Global Foods and Minerva Foods, in 2018 and 2019—the latest period for which data is available. It says the companies bought cattle from 15 Pantanal ranches where over 730 square kilometers (281 sq. miles)—an area the size of Singapore or half the size of greater London—burned during the four months ending in October of 2020. The report includes no evidence that the ranches’ owners set the fires. But it notes that the government has said the vast majority of last year’s blazes were started... [Log in to read more]

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