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17 Sep 2019

Andrew Wasley , Alexandra Heal and André Campos , The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK)

Brazil: Investigations reveal that McDonald's, Burger King and many companies in the UK are supplied with meat from illegal deforestation areas in the Amazon Forest , includes companies’ comments

“UK purchased £1bn of beef from firms tied to Amazon deforestation”, September 17 2019


…[M]arfrig, a Brazilian meat company that has supplied McDonald’s, Burger King and other huge fast food chains around the world, bought cattle from a farm using deforested land in a part of the Amazon currently ravaged by forest fires. One of the key causes of those fires is farmers clearing land for eventual beef pasture…[Y]et research by Repórter Brasil, working with the Bureau and the Guardian, traced cattle that the company purchased this year back to a farm that had grazed cows in an area of illegally felled rainforest…[T]wo other meat giants which have been accused of deforestation — Minerva Foods and JBS…[U]nprecedented research to be published today claims that the supply chains for exported beef from these three companies are between them linked to up to 500 square kilometres of deforestation every year…[I]nspectors from Ibama, Brazil’s environmental watchdog, found cattle from Limeira Ranch grazing on illegally deforested land inside a protected region, the Triunfo do Xingu Environmental Protection Area in Pará state…[I]n response, Marfrig did not dispute that the ranch had broken an embargo at the time of the purchase, but said that official checks it carried out using Ibama data at the time had given the ranch the all-clear…[A]ccording to new figures from Trase — a supply-chain initiative run by the Stockholm Environment Institute and NGO Global Canopy — Marfrig’s beef exports could be linked to up to 100 square kilometres of deforestation a year in Brazil…[J]BS beef exports could be linked to up to 300 square kilometres of deforestation per year, and Minerva Foods linked to up to 100 square kilometres, the research says…[B]urger King said: “Our goal is to eliminate deforestation within our global supply chain, and we are working toward this” and that all their suppliers were required to comply with their sustainability and forest protection policies…[M]cDonald's said it aimed to eliminate deforestation from its global supply chains by 2030 and that it had “made a commitment not to purchase raw material from any farm in the Amazon ... linked with deforestation”...