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23 Jul 2019

Karla Mendes, Mongabay

Brazil: Report by NGOs alleges companies from China, EU and United States were fined for Amazon deforestation; companies respond

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"China, EU, US trading with Brazilian firms fined for Amazon deforestation: report," 6 May 2019

Brazil-based exporters of commodities fined for Amazon illegal logging and deforestation freely trade with, and receive financing from, major importers and investors worldwide, according to a report released in April by NGO Amazon Watch and produced in collaboration with the National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)...In April 2018, Ibama, Brazil’s environmental regulatory agency, fined five of the biggest agricultural traders in Brazil, including Cargill and Bunge, for purchasing 3,000 tons of soy and other grains from embargoed farms that destroyed native vegetation... Bunge... disputes the allegations and has filed a formal response contesting Ibama’s findings...Cargill said “these allegations are without merit” and denied any commercial relationships with the properties in question or the alleged non-compliant transactions.

... ADM said it wouldn’t respond to requests for comments directly but rather a response would come through the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove) instead... Abiove said the fight against deforestation “is treated as a priority” and that the organization has implemented several actions since 2006 “to eliminate deforestation in the soybean chain.”...In an emailed statement, AgroSB... said the company was fined in 2017 for “alleged commercialization” of livestock from seized areas on the Vale Sereno farm, but Ibama “acknowledged that it made a mistake” and has started to suspend these sanctions... JBS said it does not acquire animals from farms involved with environmental crimes and it has a responsible sourcing policy that establishes “strict social and environmental criteria for suppliers’ selection”... Nordisk... denied the accusations... [T]he company is appealing against fines charged during the administration of the firm’s previous owner. “We only work with certified wood, we have the Green Seal.… We are very careful with this"... GWW Houtimport was... “surprised and shocked” to learn that one of its Brazilian suppliers is linked to failing environmental monitoring, as the company only purchases and sells certified wood... Argus Comercio e Exportação de Alimentos... said the notice of infraction drawn up by Ibama against Betzel is “undue” and has not yet been the subject of a judgment by the agency. “The company carries out its activities in the strictest legality, having all the necessary operating authorizations issued by government."...

Part of the following timelines

Brasil: Relatório da Art. dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil e Amazon Watch alega cumplicidade de empresas no desmatamento da Amazônia e em violações de direitos humanos; empresas respondem

Brazil: NGO report alleges companies complicit in deforestation & human rights abuses in the Amazon