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30 Mar 2022

Bloomberg Línea

Brazil: Investigation shows that McDonald's suppliers of meat, orange juice, coffee and soy are linked to environmental and labour crimes; incl. companies' comments

See all tags Allegations

"McDonald’s Linked to Amazon Deforestation in New Report", 30 March 2022

...McDonald’s has ties to deforestation and labor abuses in Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands and in the Amazon rainforest, which plays a crucial role in regulating the world’s climate, according to a report published Wednesday by Reporter Brasil, an independent research group focused on environmental and labor issues. In its report, Reporter Brasil reviewed several cases in which beef from illegally cleared ranches was shuffled between farms to hide its true origin, then shipped to slaughterhouses owned by companies that supply McDonald’s...

JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods SA and Minerva SA — Brazil’s biggest beef exporters—say they set the highest standards for weeding out bad actors from their supply chain, but a Bloomberg Green investigation in January showed how a cow’s journey from birth to fattening farm is left almost entirely unmonitored.

...Reporter Brasil alleges that JBS slaughterhouses in the Brazilian cities of Juina and Juara bought cattle in 2018 and 2019 from a rancher who transferred animals from a property embargoed by the environmental regulator to another with a clean title before making the sale. JBS has supplied McDonald’s with hamburger meat, but never from those specific plants.

...JBS said that the ranches mentioned in the report were either never registered as direct suppliers or were in compliance with labor and environmental laws at the time of purchase. Minerva said that the alleged illegal farm mentioned in the report has been blocked from its direct suppliers’ list since 2015. Marfrig said nothing about the farms triggered any of its monitoring systems and acknowledged that getting information on indirect suppliers—or the suppliers to its suppliers—is still a major challenge...

...French unions led by the GeneralConfederation of Workers, known as theCGT, planned to file an official warning against McDonald’s under the so-called Duty of Vigilance law, according to a letter sent to the company Wednesday. The letter focuses on labor violations mentioned in the Reporter Brasil report, including at orange and soybean producers in Brazil that allegedly feed the McDonald’s supply chain, while also mentioning environmental concerns...