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27 Jul 2020

the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Brazilian meat giant trucked cattle from deforested Amazon ranch

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...a lorry driver, decided to take a few photos as he drove in a convoy across the southern end of the Amazon rainforest. He snapped the cab of his lorry – emblazoned with the logo of JBS...beside a sign marked “Fazenda Estrela do Aripuanã”, before he and the four other drivers set off with their load of about 250 cattle...[the]photo...increases concerns about the culpability of the global beef industry for the fires ravaging the Amazon each year. This June saw record fires in the Amazon, fanned by illegal deforestation as farm owners seek more land to turn into cattle pasture...As the outcry over the Amazon fires has grown, JBS has repeatedly said that it is doing everything it can to make sure its supply chain does not include cattle raised on illegally deforested land. But it has always added that it can only monitor farms that supply it directly. This avoids reckoning with the vast number of farms, which only raise “skinny” cows that are then sold on to fattening farms; according to JBS, these skinny cattle are untraceable. That assurance has so far proved good enough for the world’s large retailers and food manufacturers, and JBS’s investors...The owner of...the farm where...picked up the skinny cattle, was fined R2.2m (£340,000) for destroying a swathe of the Amazon rainforest on land at that ranch. And the cattle...in a truck bearing a JBS logo, went to another of that company’s farms – one that directly supplies JBS.The revelations raise serious questions requiring urgent further investigation for JBS, its investors and the global companies that buy its beef over their responsibility for contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest...