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22 Oct 2021

Brazil: Due to alleged violations to environmental and human rights in Marfrig's production chain, organizations request IDB to cancel loan for the company

Movimento Nacional dos Produtores

Around 200 Brazilian and international organizations sent an open letter to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) requesting that the bank does not approve a US$43 million loan requested by Marfrig, one of the largest animal protein-based food companies in the world.

The organizations claim that the situation is a clear example of how banks and financial institutions can contribute to perpetrate human rights violations committed by companies, since, according to the organizations, Marfrig has a series of human and environmental rights violations in its production chain, which would be "incompatible with receiving an investment from an institution committed to social and environmental responsibility and with the obligation to respect human rights in the allocation of public resources".

The signatories also pointed out that granting a loan to the company would violate the IDB's commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and international agreements on climate.

Furthermore, the organizations highlighted that Marfrig has recently bought shares of two other giants in the sector, BRF and National Beef Packing Co, which would prove that the company does not need loans to finance activities related to sustainable development - which was argued by the company to justify the request for the millionaire contribution.

Repórter Brasil invited Marfrig to comment on the open letter to the IDB. The company's response is available.

Update: In mid-December 2021, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global placed Mafrig under observation due to an alleged risk of the company "contributing to serious environmental damage". The fund's position was the first of its kind to consider cattle ranching as a deforestation driver.